I had no idea what to expect from this film, except that it was supposed to be good, in light of its grabbing the 1984 Palme d’Or (the highest prize awarded at the Cannes Film Festival). But “good” can’t cut in when trying to find the words to describe Paris, Texas. Perfection. That’s the best word. Rarely do the plot, writing, acting, directing, cinematography, music, etc. etc. come together so perfectly, and here it has been done.
I was so wonderfully surprised by it. The story elements are so straight-forward and simple that they actually end up revealing the complexity of the human heart. It’s like a basic set in a play that at first glance seems rustic, but at the end when you’re standing clapping with gusto, tears sliding down your cheeks, you realize was the absolute necessary backdrop to give way for the story to truly shine .
The stunning writing is not surprising as it was expertly scripted by the Pulitzer Prize-wining playwright Sam Shepard (whom also happened to be nominated for an academy award for his supporting role in The Right Stuff). And the director being a director belonging to a small group that whose films are considered “New Wave German Cinema,” has clearly shown his genius here as well.
Every moment in this film feels purposeful, without any extraneous pseudo-symbolism. Each part is packed with power, all without too many words, too much music, or flaccid special effects.
Bottom line: this baby here is a real, mesmerizing cinematic masterpiece that which, you will be remiss if you do not watch it at some point and time.
Image via Paris, Texas directed by Wim Wenders