Wednesday, April 26, 2023

"On the wings of a snow-white dove..."

Remember, O Lord, Thy tender mercies and Thy loving kindnesses;
for they have been ever of old.

Last night I re-watched one of my favorite films, Tender Mercies (1983). I just received the Blu-ray and was glad to discover it didn't conclude with the mawkish song over the end credits spoiling the mood with sentimentality. Horton Foote wrote the screenplay. He also wrote Trip to Bountiful, another favorite of mine, and, of course, the screenplay for To Kill a Mockingbird. What is Tender Mercies about? It's title tells what it is about.

Roger Ebert:
Horton Foote won his second Academy Award for this screenplay. His first was for To Kill a Mockingbird (1962), for which he recommended Duvall for his first screen role, and he also wrote their wonderful Tomorrow in 1972. He died at 92 in March 2009. Above all a great playwright, he could hardly write a false note. The down-to-earth quality of his characters drew attention away from his minimalist storytelling; all the frills were stripped away. When interesting people have little to say, we watch the body language, listen to the notes in their voices. Rarely does a movie elaborate less and explain more than Tender Mercies. ....
Janet Maslin:
Tender Mercies highlights Mr. Duvall, who is so thoroughly transformed into Mac that he even walks with a Texan's rolling gait, but it also features some superb supporting performances. Ellen Barkin, who was so good as the young wife in Diner, is even better as Mac's spoiled and troubled daughter, and Miss Harper brings a beautifully understated dignity to the role of a new wife.... Wilford Brimley is solid and durable as a music-business functionary, and Allen Hubbard does a convincing job as Rosa Lee's young son, whose father died in Vietnam. ....

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