TENDER MERCIES (Theatrical Release USA 1983)


Ben Meyers’ Rating: 3.7|5.0 Starsììì 

Tender Mercies is an okay film that is not meant to entertain or really touch the heart. The movie works very much in the cold truth of the realities of life, losing, re-evaluating, and starting up again. Robert Duvall perfectly catches the tone of the story and gives an exceptional performance as an alcoholic who works to find a place in the world he finds himself in. If the audience is looking for ‘feel good, escape,’ this film does not give that. It does show how to stabilize life at a level where other options can be explored if one desires or becomes well enough to examine other options. It’s not joyful, hopeful, or happy. It is the tough and gritty reality of life in stasis and in the process of healing.  

Film Poster Courtesy of Google Images 


This drama film is about a washed-up country music star who begins a new life in a small town. 

Additional Thanks 

Thank you to Director Bruce Beresford for directing efforts. Thank you to Producer Philip S. Hobel for making the film possible. Cast includes: Robert Duvall, Tess Harper. Betty Buckley, Wilford Brimley, and Ellen Barkin. 

Buy a ticket
? Yes? No? Maybe?

Maybe. It is interesting and can be an educational watch to view stabilization after deep emotional hurt. But, it can be a ‘downer’ watch because from one perspective the main character seems to fail in almost everything he does in life and wallows in it. On the other hand, he does find a life and establishes order from chaos as he maintains that life. 

Video Critique Available Here:


Ben Meyers

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