From the director of ‘Blue Velvet’, the fabulously strange ‘Twin Peaks’ series and subsequent feature prequel, and the 1990 Palme d’Or winner ‘Wild at Heart’ comes this seemingly ordinary film, whose title represents its tone as it does the journey of its central character.
Written by his then editor Mary Sweeney, it tells the true story of Alvin Straight, who in 1994 travelled across two states – Iowa and Wisconsin – to visit his estranged and ailing brother. An octogenarian travelling alone might have been enough of a challenge, but because his eyesight is poor and so he cannot drive a car, Alvin made the journey on a lawn tractor.
‘The Straight Story’ is no less a study of American life than Lynch’s other films, but here is is explored more gently. And the star of the film, alongside Alvin’s recently purchased thirty-year- old John Deere 110 Lawn Tractor, is Richard Farnsworth, who plays the elderly adventurer. He was a stuntman during the Golden Age of Hollywood, working on ‘Gone with the Wind’ and ‘Spartacus’. But this was his finest – and final – moment in front of the camera.