“I guess when you’ve lived longer than your house and your family, then you’ve lived long enough.”
An elderly woman (Geraldine Page) living with her grown son (John Heard) and controlling daughter-in-law (Carlin Glynn) escapes on a road trip to her home town of Bountiful.
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
- Elderly People
- Geraldine Page Films
- Grown Children
- John Heard Films
- Play Adaptation
- Road Trip
Geraldine Page deservedly won an Oscar for her lead performance in this adaptation of Horton Foote’s stage play. Page’s Carrie Watts is sympathetic yet never cloying, often ornery but usually for good reason. Equally impressive is the cast of supporting actors, most notably Rebecca De Mornay in an atypical role as a kind young bride, and Richard Bradford’s unexpectedly nuanced performance as a local sheriff. As in Foote’s Tender Mercies (1983), The Trip to Bountiful is ultimately more concerned with character than action; however, there’s a definite arc to the narrative here, as Page moves (literally) from the stuffy confines of her Houston apartment to the open road, and then, finally, to Bountiful. The result is a gently paced story which nonetheless holds genuine suspense, as we wonder what will befall Page once she reaches her beloved destination.
Note: Bountiful is reminiscent of Yasujiro Ozu’s Tokyo Story (1953) in its depiction of the difficulties facing elderly parents who live with their grown children.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- Geraldine Page as Carrie Watts
- Rebecca De Mornay as a young army bride Page meets at the bus station
- Richard Bradford as a kindly sheriff
- Horton Foote’s screenplay
- Stirring use of the hymn “Softly and Tenderly”
Yes, simply for Page’s Oscar-winning performance.
- Noteworthy Performance(s)
- Oscar Winner or Nominee