What a great movie!
I previewed David Lynch’s film the straight story last evening. It tells the real-life story of Alvin Straight, an elderly Iowan who rode a lawn mower two hundred and sixty miles from Laurens, Iowa to visit his ailing brother in Mount Zion, Wisconsin.
I will be showing the film as part of our monthly Movie Night at the Ensworths’ series for people from our church. It is a beautifully made film, beautiful in its simplicity and its emotional power and its celebration of human goodness, not a goodness that is artificial or overtly demonstrative, but a goodness that is interwoven into the fabric of stubborness and pride and regret and loss with which we can all identify.
It is a tender and hopeful film, and a funny and playful film. But what makes it special is its refusal to go “over the top” or to indulge in easy sentimentalism or to tie up all the loose ends. It celebrates love and forgiveness and joy and endurance, sterling Christian virtues all, without being preachy. You simply see the virtues in action … and end up believing that you yourself might be capable of such feelings and such kindnesses.