Saturday, August 19, 2017

Tender Mercies

A broken down country singer (Robert Duvall), estranged from his work partner wife (Betty Buckley) and their 18 year old daughter (Ellen Barkin) and lost in the bottle, is shown sympathy by an angelic single mother (Tess Harper) who runs a gas station/motel in the desolate part of Texas. As the two connect and marry, the singer attempts to repair his soul while fixing old wounds and moving on with the next act of his life. From a screenplay by Horton Foote, Bruce Beresford's Tender Mercies is a rare kind of film in that it embodies quiet and good-naturedness and resolves to be always emotionally honest. Duvall, in his sole Oscar winning role, is reserved, moving, and shows an aptitude for singing, some of the songs which he wrote himself. Harper is lovely as the young widow, Buckley is strong, and Wilford Brimley is great in support playing the latter's manager in a manner only he can. Beautifully photographed by Russell Boyd.
**** out of ****