Saturday, May 5, 2007

Tender Mercies (1983)

Robert Duvall is a god.

He ranks up there with Harvey Keitel as possibly the most underappreciated mainstream actor that, no matter what, ALWAYS knocks it out of the park, and yet, the casual movie fan probably couldn't tell you his name.

And here is one of his shining beacons of glory, Tender Mercies.

Duvall plays Mac Sledge, a once-famous country singer who is now a broke drunk, and accepts the kindness of Rosa Lee (Tess Harper) who gives him a job working at the little roadside motel she owns, and eventually they fall in love, and marry. He was formerly married to Dixie (Betty Buckley), a still-famous country singer who is performing the next town over, as he flirts with possibly going back into singing.

You have to admire a movie that wants to tell a simple story, and tell it well. No melodramatic flourishes, no cheap plot twists...this film is a snapshot into a life of a man who wants life to be simple, and is all the better for it.Duvall is glorious, and even sings his own songs so well that you have absolutely no trouble believing he used to be a country singer, and a famous one at that. Tess Harper and Allan Hubbard do excellent work as his newfound for his old problems, Betty Buckley, Wilford Brimley and a young Ellen Barkin certainly hold up their end of the bargain.

All in all a wondrous film, 9/10, and my #2 of 1983

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