Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Tender Mercies

The movie Tender Mercies popped up last week during step study.

There's a scene--it's relatively late in the movie. Robert Duval's character, Mac Sledge is poking at the nasty soil with a hoe. He begins to riff on life. As another blogger, Captain Critic put it so well.
This leads to perhaps the most important scene in the movie, with Mac tending a small garden he has planted across the street from the motel. Beresford shoots naturalistically, almost documentary style, in long shot with a long take with no cuts or close-ups. You can't even see Duvall's face underneath his wide-brimmed hat in the slanting sun. But the pain and power of the scene just spill out over that spare Texas landscape. "I don't trust happiness; never have, never will," Mac confesses.

Despite its negative tone, I love this scene. Life is not always happy frou-frou. It's learning to deal with the ups and downs too. In fact, if your faith doesn't help you with this, then it's not very useful now, is it. I referred to this scene when answering one of the questions at step study.

Time to watch this movie again. Perhaps I'll be back later with the exact dialog and a screen shot or two.

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