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 <email@example.com>
A Good Film Carried by Robert Duvall's Oscar-Winning Performance
"Tender Mercies" is a strong character study about a washed-up country singer (Robert Duvall, in his Oscar-winning role) who finds the will to live and makes the most of his life. After spending a drunken night at a small motel in Texas, he meets the woman (Tess Harper) who can change his life for the better. She owns the motel and after allowing Duvall to stay for a while by doing odd jobs, she marries him and he starts his transformation. Duvall still has songs to sing, but his heart is just not in it any more. His ex-wife has become a singing star, partly by using the songs that Duvall wrote himself. She has also kept their daughter away from him because she was afraid he might do something in a drunken rage. Duvall comes to terms with everything and shows that he is a changed man. He meets his now-grown daughter (Ellen Barkin) and realizes that everything that has happened has occurred for the right reason. However, tragedy will strike and Duvall will have to show how great a person he really is. "Tender Mercies" is a film that works due to quiet performances, subtle direction, and a smart screenplay. The film runs a crisp 89 minutes, but never feels rushed. Robert Duvall finally got the chance to showcase his acting ability and he does not disappoint. His performance is the greatest attribute here, but this does not mean that everything else is not impressive. 4.5 out of 5 stars.
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