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The Trip to Bountiful1985

  • 4.4
  • passes the bechdel test
Forced by circumstances to live with her loathsome son and daughter-in-law, elderly Mrs. Watts wants nothing more out of life than to return to her hometown of Bountiful. Escaping from her family's clutches, she boards a bus to Bountiful, where she makes the acquaintance of young Thelma. The two women immediately hit it off, and their trip is a most pleasant one. Eventually, the local sheriff, ordered to find Page and bring her back to her family, catches up with the old woman just a few miles from Bountiful. Feeling sorry for her, he permits her to complete her sentimental journey, even though he knows full well that Bountiful is now a ghost town of empty ruins and dilapidated shacks. It doesn't matter, though: she sees Bountiful just as it was when she left it, and for the first time in years is truly happy and at peace with herself.

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3 members like this review

Sure: sentiment by the shovelful, by the steamshovelful, and at the core a performance by Geraldine Page that represents more emotional truth and theatrical technique than can be measured, while the entirely respectful photography and editing create a suitable stage for this stagy representation. The movie is a small wonder; Page's performance, a testament and a tribute to acting.

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top reviewer

Member Reviews (4)

131499.small
top reviewer

Sure: sentiment by the shovelful, by the steamshovelful, and at the core a performance by Geraldine Page that represents more emotional truth and theatrical technique than can be measured, while the entirely respectful photography and editing create a suitable stage for this stagy representation. The movie is a small wonder; Page's performance, a testament and a tribute to acting.

3 members like this review

excellent and touching story.

1 member likes this review
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top reviewer

Geraldine Page won the Best Actress Oscar in 1986 for her performance in this film as Mrs. Watts, a doddering old lady who seeks to return to her old homestead in Bountiful, Texas amidst the grumblings of her son Ludie (John Heard) and termagant daughter-in-law Jessie Mae (Carlin Glynn). One afternoon, she runs out of their apartment in Houston and gets on a bus where she meets a sympathetic young woman, Thelma, ( Rebecca De Mornay), who provides some solace and support along the way. The film throughout showers the viewer with lots of maudlin pontifications emanating from Page’s stagey characterization, one that seemed like a rehash of Faulkner and Tennessee Williams roles she may have been involved in over the years. This film gets a lot of praise, but I found it a sentimental mish mash about aging amidst rose colored memories of the past. Page’s performance impressed me as very repetitive and ultimately a bit tiresome, creating a character to whom I found myself engendering little compassion. On the other hand, Heard and De Mornay, I thought, put in quite creditable performances that in many respects outshone Page.

A beautiful, sentimental film.