76 - Trip to Bountiful
Geraldine Page won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance as the elderly Carrie Watts, who is drifting into the twilight of her senior years, trapped in 1950s Houston with a controlling daughter-in-law and a hen-pecked son.
Her fondest wish – just one more time before she dies – is to return home to Bountiful, her rural hometown. Her son, Ludie, says he is too concerned for her fragile health to allow her to travel alone. He would take her, but his petty, status-conscious daughter-in-law, Jessie Mae, insists they don't have money to squander on such foolishness.
A miserable girl, Jessie Mae can’t stand it when Carrie sings quietly the church hymns from her childhood. Each month, Carry attempts to slip away upon the arrival of her meager Social Security check. Finally, she outwits her son and bossy daughter-in-law, setting out to catch a train, only to find none go to Bountiful anymore.
She boards a bus and on the journey befriends a girl traveling alone, played by Rebecca DeMornay, and reminisces about her younger years. The bus only goes near Bountiful, but the local sheriff, touched by her desperate yearning, drives her out to the town. Carry is reduced to tears by what she finds – as a frantic Ludie skids into the driveway and another beautiful hymn resounds in our very satisfied hearts.
~ Rob Kerby