The Trip to Bountiful

How about a one-way ticket to Palookaville for Horton Foote, whose coy expressions of gentle folk wisdom seem about as calculated as the average Rocky episode? In this one, which Foote wrote originally in the 50s as a TV play for Lillian Gish, Geraldine Page dons the shapeless print dress that is Foote's perennial symbol of human nobility; she's a sweet, hymn-crooning old soul whose domineering daughter-in-law (Carlin Glynn) and spineless son (John Heard) refuse to allow her to leave the evil city and return to the tiny Texas town of her idyllic childhood. Page, in a flurry of stage mannerisms, takes off on her own, touching the lives of everyone she meets as she makes her way across the countryside. First-timer Peter Masterson directed; his notion of film is to point the camera in the general direction of the actors (1985). With Rebecca De Mornay.

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