In Laurens, Iowa, 72-year-old Alvin (Richard Farnsworth) receives word that his brother from Mount Zion, Wisconsin, has suffered a stroke. It’s been ten years since Alvin spoke with his brother as they both said unforgivable things when they last saw each other. This is Alvin’s last chance to make amends.
Due to Alvin’s medical condition and inability to drive, he decides to alter his ride-on lawnmower and use it for an unlikely journey. Alvin swallows his pride and gets on the road, driving his lawnmower with a trailer attached. Soon he learns that travelling 317-miles atop a ride-on mower won’t be easy. Alvin will encounter many challenges such as problems with his lawnmower, strangers, bad weather, and the list goes on. The question is, can Alvin reach his destination in time before his brother’s condition worsens?
The Straight Story is a drama filled with many touching and heartfelt moments. While the primary focus is on Alvin’s situation and his journey, I enjoyed the various challenges he encountered and the many people he met along the way. These characters share stories or moments with Alvin, and new friendships and memories are developed.
One of the biggest praise points is the performance of Richard Farnsworth. As Alvin, Farnsworth is truly amazing. The actor delivers many heartfelt moments that always feel genuine and touching. Side performance from actress Sissy Spacek as Alvin’s daughter is also tremendous. Visually, the film is wonderful, especially when it comes to the filming style. Emotions and general landscapes are beautifully captured.
Thanks to Australian Distribution Imprint Films, this Blu-ray release is filled with a stack of bonus features, including audio commentaries, featurettes and much more!
Overall, this is simply a kind and wonderful film with a touching story and a strong message about family and forgiveness. The Straight Story shares the saga of one man going the distance to make amends, hoping to beat the clock. It’s wonderfully shot, and elements such as emotion are displayed with skill. Leading performances from Richard Farnsworth and a supporting role from Sissy Spacek are praiseworthy, with both delivering unforgettable characters to the screen.