Genre Guesstimation – The Straight Story (1999)


The idea behind this feature (Genre Guesstimation) is for me to watch a bunch of new movies (or ones that I haven’t seen many times) from the chosen monthly GG genre in order to expand my knowledge of movies within that particular genre.

This month’s Genre has been chosen by Simon of Moustache Movie News and it is Road Trip Movies.

Please get me your submissions by the 25th of December by sending them to roadtripsimon@movierob.net

Try to think out of the box! Great choice Simon!

Let’s see if I felt that this movie would be worthy of being in the company of my others favorite movies in the genre of Road Trip Movies.

“I’d give each one of ’em a stick and, one for each one of ’em, then I’d say, ‘You break that.’ Course they could real easy. Then I’d say, ‘Tie them sticks in a bundle and try to break that.’ Course they couldn’t. Then I’d say, “That bundle… that’s family.” ” – Alvin

Number of Times Seen – 2 (5 Oct 2000 and 2 Dec 2017)

Brief Synopsis – An elderly man travels on a tractor to visit his brother who he hasn’t seen in years after he finds out that he suffered a stroke.

My Take on it – This is the kind of film that you can watch once and never forget the kind of impact it can have on you.

The story itelf is based on a true story, but it comes across as so simple and homely that it’s so easy to get absorbed by it all.

The story can have an effect on the viewers so easily because it can touch us on so many levels.

The emotional connection that we can feel to the character played by Richard Farnsworth is so strong and he can easily make us beleiev that we are watching an elderly relative taking such a journey.

The dialogue is soft spoken yet quite wise as we get words of wisdom shared with random strangers as the journey moves along.

It’s all presented in a very subtle way yet it leaves things open to so much emotion.

Farnsworth is amazing here and definitely deserved his Oscar nomination for this role which seems nearly perfect.

This is such a feat due to his age and even almost twenty years later, he still remains the oldest actor to be nominated for a Best Actor Oscar.

I was really shocked that this film was directed by David Lynch because I am usually not a fan of his style, but this one was just done so superbly and different from his usual fare that it goes to show that directors are able to change their style and therefore one should always give them a chance even if you dislike most of the work by that particular director.

I love the music of this film because it feels so familiar as it plays along with the perfectly shot breathtaking landscapes of the American Midwest as the journey moves along.

Listen to the score here:

Bottom Line – Such an amazing film because it’s done so simple yet has such an unbelievable impact on multiple levels. The story itself is quite an emotional one even though it is all presented in such a subtle way. Farnsworth is superb here and really deserved his Oscar nomination for playing such a role to perfection.  Even after nearly twenty years, he holds the record of the oldest Oscar nominee for Best Actor which is quite a feat for a 79 year old. The music is beautiful to listen to and the way that they shoot the landscapes of the American Midwest is so breathtaking to watch as the journey moves along. Highly Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – There are no features on the DVD other than a trailer. Also, there are no scene selections because David Lynch wanted the film to be one whole experience rather than scenes.  (From IMDB)

Genre Grandeur Worthy? – Most definitely.  This is such a simple story that works on so many levels and is amazingly done!

Rating – Oscar Worthy

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3 thoughts on “Genre Guesstimation – The Straight Story (1999)

  1. Pingback: Genre Grandeur December Finale – Paul (2011) – Moustache Movie News |

  2. Pingback: Temporal Top Ten – 1999 |

  3. Pingback: Did They Get it Right? – Best Actor – Oscars 1999 |

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