I don't think a film has ever affected me like this, and am so pleased to read that other reviewers have felt the same. I'm a bit shocked, actually. I never realised that a film could do this.
The Striaght Story is beautiful. Gentle, good natured and heartwarming, it says all there is to say about the triumph of the human spirit, and the kindness of strangers. Alvin's journey across three states, on the back of a ride-on lawnmower, is told at such a slow pace, and often Alvin is the only person on screen, surrounded by mile after mile of landscape stretching off into the horizon. This just emphasises the whole point of the film: one man's mission to do what he feels is right. Refusing help along the way, even insisting on sleeping in someone's shed instead of in the house when he's forced to rely on others when the lawnmower breaks down, Alvin is a true gentleman. The stories he tells, and characters he meets, bring a genuinely warm glow of happiness and truth. Telling a young runaway of his daughter's sad personal history, chatting about war experiences in a bar with a fellow oldtimer, this film has more to say about humanity than any I think I have ever seen.
Cinematography is perfection. The music is perfection: Angelo Badalamenti does it again, recapturing the evocative nature of the Twin Peaks soundtrack. Just listen to the simple use of strings when Alvin tells his daughter's story. I promise there won't be a dry eye in the house. There certainly wasn't in mine, anyway.
Completely unsentimental, this film is ideal for making you feel glad to be alive. Absolutely uplifting. I don't understand why it didn't win every award going. I didn't want it to end.