As the story opens, washed-up country singer Mac (Robert Duvall) is dead drunk in a shabby Texas motel room. With no money to pay the bill, he starts working for the widow (Tess Harper) who runs the place. Once he stops drinking, he starts liking life again and becomes close to the woman and her young son. Not one to talk about himself or the past, she doesn't know that he was once a big star.
This is a wonderful, beautiful story. Duvall excels at playing honest, straightforward characters that are completely lacking in artifice and is convincing as the silent, pained has-been. His compelling performance earned the Best Actor Oscar in 1984. This was Tess Harper's first movie but she acts like a pro; she effortlessly portrays the simple, hardworking woman who is grateful for the tender mercies, or blessings, in her life. The two stars make you feel like you've really been to rural Texas and gotten to know and care about the folks there. The movie is quite similar in mood to "The Last Picture Show," with characters that say what they mean and know who they are.
This is a quiet, touching, and utterly engaging movie about interesting people. Heartily recommended.