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The Straight Story

  • Directed by David Lynch
  • United States, 1999, 112 mins., English

“Walt Disney presents…a film by David Lynch.” Stranger words have perhaps never opened an American film, but the belief in a specifically American resiliency has always been a part of Lynch’s worldview. 79-year-old Alvin Straight (Richard Farnsworth) learns that his estranged brother Lyle (Harry Dean Stanton) has suffered a stroke. Longing to visit Lyle, but unable to drive a car, Alvin drives 200 miles across Iowa and into Wisconsin in his John Deere lawn mower. He encounters various characters along the way and bathes in the stunning Midwestern landscapes, within which he’s spent his entire life. Farnsworth was nominated for an Oscar for his role, and the film stands as a touching and quiet departure from the work upon which Lynch made a career. “There are few films from the [1990s] that felt more expansive and complex…it happens naturally upon the kinds of eccentricities and bold visions on which Lynch’s art has been staked, but in a way that finally revealed them to me not as mannerisms but as manifestations of a curious, generous nature.”—Michael Koresky, Sundance Now. “This is a story about old age. And it’s a story about a man’s life. Richard Farnsworth is one of the most special people I’ve ever met. So much comes through from way deep inside. I’ve never seen anything like it. And it’s a beautiful thing to see his face. His face says so much and in the script you learn about a regular man’s life. And what he’s gone through is similar to a lotta people.”—David Lynch.

Genres: Comedy, Drama

Other Films by David Lynch

The Amputee Vols. 1 & 2

Short film by David Lynch.

The Alphabet

Short film by David Lynch.

Six Men Getting Sick

Short film by David Lynch.

Industrial Symphony No. 1

A short avant-garde musical play directed by David Lynch.

Premonitions Following an Evil Deed

Experimental short film by David Lynch.