(David Lynch, US/UK/France 1999, 112 min., 35mm)
David Lynch. The true story of Alvin Straight, a seventy-three-year-old man who drove across two states on a John Deere tractor to reconcile with his dying brother, forms the foundation for Lynch’s most compassionate and triumphant film to date. Richard Farnsworth earned an Oscar nomination for his role as Straight who, upon learning of his estranged brother’s life-threatening stroke, decides to make the journey on his tractor after being denied a driver’s license. Along the way, Straight encounters hardship after hardship, along with a diverse cross-section of Midwestern characters, but never loses his resolve to reach his ailing brother. This uncharacteristically straightforward, humanistic portrait is considered by some critics to be an anomaly in Lynch’s career, while others have praised it as his best film.