Old Geezer on a Lawnmower
The Straight Story
Review by Ross Anthony

Alvin Straight is seventy-three. He has bad eyes and hips. The state won't issue him a driver's license, he refuses a walker opting for two canes and he's too stubborn to have anyone drive him. Yet, his brother has had a stroke in Wisconsin and he's bound and determined to get there.

"Alvin you're not thinking of riding this lawnmower to Wisconsin, are you?" the mower salesman asks. Later Alvin puts it this way, "You're a kind man, talking to a stubborn man."

This Straight story is also a slow one. The roaring pace (that's loving sarcasm) of America's rural states, namely Iowa, adds a carefully harvested flavor to this simple robust tale. For example, a scene in which Alvin purchases a "grabber" from a local hardware store takes a full two minutes to blossom. It just goes to show you what patience and a good sense of humor can yield.

  • The Straight Story. © 1999. Rated G.
  • Starring Richard Farnsworth and Sissy Spacek.
  • Directed by David Lynch.
  • Written by John Roach and Mary Sweeney.
  • Produced by Mary Sweeney and Neal Edelstein at Picture Factory.
  • Distruibuted by Buena Vista/Disney.


Copyright © 1999 Ross Anthony, currently based in Los Angeles, has scripted and shot documentaries, music videos, and shorts in 35 countries across North America, Europe, Africa and Asia. For more reviews visit: RossAnthony.com

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Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 07:54:31 PDT