Based on a true 1994 incident, this lovely, delicate 1999 film was something of a surprise coming from director David Lynch. Its story is simple: 73-year-old Alvin Straight, worried about mending a relationship with his sick 75-year-old brother Lyle, to whom he has not spoken in 10 years because of an alcohol-driven argument, drives a John Deere lawn mower for six weeks and 300 miles up the highway from Laurens, Iowa to Mt. Zion, Wisconsin to patch things up before one of them dies. We see his simple-minded middle-aged daughter (beautifully acted by Sissy Spacek), the pleasant, helpful folks he meets along the route of his small, epic journey. The film is rather spiritual in many ways -- celebrating the beauties and virtues of the American Midwest as well as the terrors and consolations of aging. Richard Farnsworth, 78 years old himself and just a year away from committing suicide to end the pain of bone cancer, acted the title role with moving dignity and grace. (Cinematographer Freddie Francis was 81, too.) Harry Dean Stanton appears briefly at the end as Lyle.
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The review of this Movie prepared by David Loftus