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      Tender Mercies

      PG Released Mar 4, 1983 1h 30m Drama List
      82% Tomatometer 28 Reviews 81% Audience Score 2,500+ Ratings Down-on-his-luck country singer Mac Sledge (Robert Duvall) has nowhere to turn when he wakes up in a motel, short on cash. So he takes a job from Rosa Lee (Tess Harper), the kindly widow who runs the place. Mac begins to fall for Rosa, who helps him confront his drinking, and also finds an unexpected bond with Rosa's young son (Allan Hubbard). When the opportunity for a career comeback surfaces, Mac must choose between his new life and the life he let slip through his hands. Read More Read Less Watch on Fandango at Home Buy Now

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      Tender Mercies

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      Critics Consensus

      Anchored by a deftly understated performance from Robert Duvall, Tender Mercies is a quiet character study that leaves a lasting emotional impact.

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      Critics Reviews

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      Pauline Kael New Yorker I kept waiting for Tender Mercies to get started -- to get into something. I was still waiting when it was over and I was back out on the street. Sep 19, 2023 Full Review Roger Ebert Chicago Sun-Times Tender Mercies won Robert Duvall his only Academy Award in six nominations. It contains one of his most understated performances. It's mostly done with his eyes. Rated: 4/4 Jun 20, 2018 Full Review Roger Moore Movie Nation The best thing about this classic is you can watch it now and wonder, even all these years later, what took Hollywood so long to realize that the best among them was the one player who never called attention to himself. Rated: 3.5/4 Jun 25, 2023 Full Review Ian Kane Epoch Times If you’re looking for an inspiring movie that has an unusual sense of authenticity, heartfelt drama, and a good splash of romance, you can do no better than “Tender Mercies.” Rated: 4.5/5 Feb 13, 2023 Full Review Matt Brunson Film Frenzy An unfussy and unassuming gem. Rated: 3.5/4 Aug 16, 2020 Full Review Molly Haskell Vogue Tender Mercies' ultimate miracle is its faith in the audience. It assumes, perhaps unreasonably, that we are not so canned overblown effects that we cannot pick up on its quiet rhythms. Feb 27, 2020 Full Review Read all reviews

      Audience Reviews

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      Alec B A subtle character piece that never wastes a second of its runtime and I love that Duvall won his Oscar for such a quiet and understated performance. Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 02/21/24 Full Review Ian M Pure, honest, simple character study. It was nice to watch something that was 'the good 'ol days, when life had simple challenges. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 10/24/23 Full Review Koi P I thought it had to be based on a true story. Thought provoking and real. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 12/23/23 Full Review Audience Member A subtle character piece that never wastes a second of its runtime and I love that Duvall won his Oscar for such a quiet and understated performance. Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 02/13/23 Full Review Audience Member Beautiful film, simple storytelling at its best. Spare production design, clean cinematography, authentic and believable characters. Robert Duvall excels as the washed up country music singer songwriter. He does his own vocals as well. There is a sweet spiritual thread running through the film, as well. Truly a good and rock solid family film. Gritty and true to life. This film is worth every minute, like a John Steinbeck story come to life. Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 02/04/23 Full Review Audience Member I saw it in the library and noticed it was an award winner, so I checked it out and watched it with my mother. Neither of us were impressed. The story is about a former country music star who has collapsed into alcoholism and vagrancy, and ultimately winds up at a rural motel/gas station run by a young widow and her young son. He offers to work for her, and she accepts, telling him he could not drink. But he is still a country music legend, and he is first visited by a reporter, then a garage band who want to meet him. Also in the region are his ex-wife, also a country music star, and their daughter. The rest of the story, of course, has Mac's past catching up to him. While the performances and characters are all credible, especially of the little boy who acts like a genuine little boy and not a precocious stereotype, the story is predictable and holds little in the way of surprises. The song that makes a major part of the story isn't even very good. We don't even learn much of anything about the country music industry or culture. Not bad but not good either. It must have been a lean year at the Oscars. Rated 2.5 out of 5 stars 02/22/23 Full Review Read all reviews
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      Movie Info

      Synopsis Down-on-his-luck country singer Mac Sledge (Robert Duvall) has nowhere to turn when he wakes up in a motel, short on cash. So he takes a job from Rosa Lee (Tess Harper), the kindly widow who runs the place. Mac begins to fall for Rosa, who helps him confront his drinking, and also finds an unexpected bond with Rosa's young son (Allan Hubbard). When the opportunity for a career comeback surfaces, Mac must choose between his new life and the life he let slip through his hands.
      Director
      Bruce Beresford
      Producer
      Philip Hobel, Mary Ann Hobel, Horton Foote, Robert Duvall
      Screenwriter
      Horton Foote, Horton Foote
      Production Co
      EMI Films Ltd.
      Rating
      PG
      Genre
      Drama
      Original Language
      English
      Release Date (Theaters)
      Mar 4, 1983, Original
      Release Date (Streaming)
      Jun 2, 2009
      Runtime
      1h 30m
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