Tender Mercies

Tender Mercies, 1983 film starring  Robert Duvall, Tess Harper, Betty Buckley and Wilford Brimley.  Bobby ‘D’ plays a decent drunk but a country and western singer!!!

A broken-down, alcoholic, middle-aged country singer wakes up one morning and begins to re-evaluate his life thus far.  Mac (Duvall) makes friends with a young widow and her son and before long marries her, stops drinking, reaches out to his long-lost daughter, and tries to put his troubled life back together.

This was a weird one for me.  I love Duvall flicks so I gave this a chance.  It started with him being totally drunk in a hotel room then passing out on the floor.  He didn’t know how he got there and apparently neither did the writers.  The story then moved fast and before I thought they even knew each other the married!  Then it got somewhat interesting, we find he was a singer, had a wife etc.. and it became about his personal struggle to not only cope with it but learn and move on.

It was a simple story with no hidden extra plots or twists and Robert Duvall gave a performance that earned him the Oscar for it, in fact the film won two Oscars.  For me though it was a story that didn’t end.  Ok, his life was back on track and his career may have been rejuvenated but what about the aftermath of his daughter?  What about the song?  To me this film ended with without fully explaining everything.  That is where my disappointment in this film is.  The story was great, acting fantastic and the location fitting.  I just wished it finished with a little more clarification.




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