DirkH’s review published on Letterboxd:
It is sometimes easy to forget what a versatile director Lynch really is as he lately only deals in vagueness and weirdness. The Straight Story is a gentle reminder of what Lynch is also capable of. Delving into a character and placing him into the real world through us, his viewers.
The title is far from a clever play on words but its ambiguity serves the film really well as this really is a simple story told in the straightest way imaginable by a director who can find the realness in a performance and a character, be they big or small. Just look at the faces of the people our hero encounters, they are real people, heck, look at our hero. He has a soul, he exists, firmly grounded in reality.
Taken at face value, this film should probably have been a melodramatic mess. I often hear myself and other people say that a film has heart. But what does that really mean? It is said easily, but often falsely. This film will be the benchmark for me if I ever feel the need to claim a film has a heart as the Straight Story proves that the simplest of messages are the strongest, told in the most straightforward way, without all the bells and whistles, carried by the genius of a talented director and the prime performance of an acting career.
I find it impossible to believe that both Farnsworth and Lynch did not put something of themselves into this film. Probably their hearts and a good chunk of their souls. It shows and that is what makes this film resonate so strongly within me. I truly and honestly care about what I'm seeing and all characters involved.
And that is what lies at the heart of this simple tale of an unbelievable journey.