• Publication date: March 20, 2013

The Straight Story

Alvin, an ailing widower in his 70s, living in Iowa with his mentally deficient daughter, decides one day to visit his brother Lyle who’s had a stroke. Alvin doesn’t trust doctors, yet still wants to make the journey as they haven’t spoken in 10 years. With Lyle living in Wisconsin, and Alvin having no money, car, or driving license, he decides to get on his riding lawn mower and make the trip…

Alvin (Richard Farnsworth), an ailing widower in his 70s, living in Iowa with Rose (Sissy Spacek) his mentally deficient daughter with a speech impediment, decides one day to visit his brother Lyle (Harry Dean Stanton) who’s had a stroke.

Despite his emphysema and bad hip, Alvin doesn’t trust doctors, yet he still wants to make the journey as his brother may not have long to live and sadly they haven’t spoken in 10 years. With Lyle living in Wisconsin, and Alvin having no money, car, or driving license, he decides to get on his riding lawn mower and attempt to make the trip anyway. Regardless of the weeks-long trek, the frequent mechanical breakdowns, new friends, and sidetracks, Alvin is intent on making it to Lyle in time to resolve their differences before it is too late.

As it would prove to be Richard Farnsworth’s final screen performance -as he passed away one year following the film’s release- his portrayal as Alvin earned him a much deserved Best Actor Academy Award nomination.

 

Starring:

  • Richard Farnsworth
  • Sissy Spacek
  • Jane Galloway Heitz
  • Everett McGill
  • Jennifer Edwards-Hughes
  • Barbara E. Robertson
  • Donald Wiegert
  • Tracey Maloney

Directed by:  David Lynch

Rating:  G.