Geraldine Page's final role earned her 1985's Best Actress Oscar. With only three major characters, “The Trip To Bountiful” is a less complex film than Horton Foote's Oscar-winning screenplay, 1983's “Tender Mercies.”
Ms. Page plays Carrie Watts, an elderly but sly hymn-singing woman who lives with her wimpy son Ludie (Heard) and his unhappy wife Jessie Mae in a stifling Houston apartment, amidst constant bickering and Ludie's financial inability to change things.
Carrie's final wish is to visit her childhood farm home in rural Bountiful by the Texas Gulf where her wistful memories of her own youth sustain her. Since her family won't cooperate, she sets out on her own determined to make the trip.
A bus ride with a naive Army bride Thelma (De Mornay) reminds her of youth and sets the stage for other strangers who assist her en route. This includes a local sheriff who delivers Carrie to the remains of her home. When Ludie catches up, the two share cartharses explaining a lifetime of inhibition, lost opportunities and human mortality which quite possibly will enable the three to start living in harmony.
This report prepared by Angry Jim Magin