The Straight Story
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Time Out saysLynch gets humanist - and produces a gem. The title has multiple resonance: based on fact, it charts the journey through the empty Midwestern plains embarked on by elderly Iowan Alvin Straight (Farnsworth), who to see his ailing brother attempts to cover 350 miles on a motorised lawnmower. Atypically for the director, it's also told straight, in naturalistic, linear fashion, but for all that the elegant, faintly formal compositions and camera movements (courtesy Freddie Francis), the expert and subtle use of sound and music, and the wry, gently humorous take on the absurdities of small town life make the film recognisably Lynchian. Farnsworth's easy, twinkle eyed charm is a winner all the way, but it's finally the film's deceptive simplicity and unabashed warmth that make it one of Lynch's most artistically and emotionally satisfying movies.