Best of… Series – 1984 – Paris, Texas
As a way to mix some of my old reviews in with my new reviews, I’m doing a Best of… Series. In this series, I will review my favorite movie of each year.
What a fantastic movie! Paris, Texas is perfection in regards to tone and mood, and how to convey each. Everything we see is important yet peaceful – heartbreaking yet calm. It’s quietly effective, matched perfectly by its script and color schemes. Seriously, the Texas landscape contrasted with the California cities was a delightful aesthetic combination, especially with the way Wenders pulls the vibrancy out of both.
This melting pot of beauty made it feel as if I was right there with the characters, experiencing their experiences, and feeling their feelings. As we learn more and more about the mysterious protagonist’s past and flaws, despite his quiet nature, we can sense his longing for a missing piece in his life – very obviously presented to us as being his wife. And when he tracks her down, what follows is perhaps the greatest scene in cinema history. (Yes, this is a bold claim, but I stand by it.) Harry Dean Stanton’s calm and honest words combined with Nastassja Kinski’s sad and lonely exterior contain a flood of startling emotion. A downward spiral has never been so bluntly exposed with such tragic evidence so undeniable. There’s a lot of heartbreak, but enough redemption to slightly ease the pain. Even the most unemotional of viewers might find tears in their eyes. 10/10