Director: Bruce Beresford
Stars: Robert Duvall, Tess Harper, Betty Buckley, Wilford Brimley, Ellen Barkin
No longer the famous country western singer he once was, Mac Sledge finds himself penniless and alone in the small Texas motel run by Rosa Lee. With no other options, Mac takes a job at the motel, and with the support of the kind widow Rosa, mends his ways. The two marry, and Mac becomes close to her son. When Mac is given the chance to make a comeback, he considers leaving them behind, until a meeting with his unhappy daughter makes him decide to never hurt anyone again.
This movie has a laid back emotional dramatic story that does not follow the Hollywood standard. There was not any music swelling with two people running toward one another embracing. There was not an over dramatic scene with soft music playing in the background just trying to produce emotions. It was just a straight forward movie about this ex singer song writer trying to get his life back together again. The movie did not need all of that to make a good solid movie. You can feel all of the emotion through the silence in the movie. You can sense all of the emotions in the characters voices. The performances is what made this movie.
This movie is beautifully shot. The scenes capture the isolation that this family has and deals with on a daily basis. That poor little boy having to go to school with those stupid rude kids. While he is at home, he has no one to play with, except for dirt and sticks. It looks so boring in that terrible area. Poor Rosa Lee, where was she going to meet a man? He would have to be at church or come to the motel. That has got to be a really sad life.
The cast for this movie was award winning. Robert Duvall deserved that Oscar for this movie. He knock it out of the park. Tess Harper never disappoints at all. She is always great in all of her roles. Betty Buckley needed to be wearing her knee socks and whistle. She looked like a crazy white trash woman going out fancy on a night out on the town. Ellen Barkin was young and pretty for starting out in the business.
This is a movie that has been forgotten, so I am here to remind you of it. This is a great movie, if you have not seen it, then you really should. It is well worth watching. Enjoy.
Tender Mercies (1983) Trailer