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Darren O. Campbell
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Alchoholic former country singer Mac Sledge makes friends with a young widow and her son. The friendship enables him to find inspiration to resume his career. Written by
Stefan Halldorsson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
This is a movie with a lot of "dignity." It has such realistic people, it kept me fascinated because it seemed so different from most films I've watched.
There aren't a lot of dramatic things that happen in the story yet, as a whole, it's a wonderful tale that stays with you. It's a lot more than just seeing an Oscar-winning performance by Robert Duvall as Texan and former C&W singer and writer, "Mac Sledge." It's simply good storytelling
I can't say I am a fan of Duvall's country singing, but that is the only thing I didn't like. Well, maybe "Dixie" (Betty Buckley), who played a bitter ex-wife of Duvall's in here. She was not pleasant, but others were really nice, likable people. Yet, this is not some sappy movie just because most of the people are good folks.
As in film noirs in which the viewer has a sense of dread, knowing something bad is around the corner, I felt the same thing in this film, even though it didn't necessarily happen. I mean with the main characters: Mac, Rosa Lee and Sonny. There was underlying tension, probably because of Sledge's alcoholic and violent past, that made me fear that any minute he was going to ruin the nice setup he had with a good woman and nice stepson.
Duvall, as usual, makes his role a fascinating and unpredictable one. With many of the people he has played over the years, you never am sure what his characters are going to do next. Tess Harper, as Mac's new wife, and Alan Hubbard, as her son, are two of the most realistic characters I've ever seen on film. It helped they were from the area so their accents were real.
This is a just straight drama, with a solid screenplay by Horton Foote and direction by Bruce Beresford ("Driving Miss Daisy"). In addition, actors Buckley (who can sing, too), Wilford Brimley and Ellen Barkin all give memorable supporting performances.
It was an interesting tale of something I have rarely seen on film in the past 50 years: a good Christian woman lifting up a man to her level. She never had to do it verbally, never nagged or preached to the man, just set example of how to act and be a loving, supportive spouse. There is a lesson for people here with how well "Rosa Lee" handled situations. Nice.....very nice.
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