Tender Mercies (1983)
Stripped, unpretentious and inherently pragmatic film about the convalescence of former country star Mac Sledge, currently down-and-out and looking for a way up. Tender Mercies is as low-key and unshowy as a film about a comeback can possibly be. But then again, this isn't really about a comeback in the orthodox way, but rather on a personal, fundamental level. The approach by Beresford, which may come off as stilted and methodically unromantic, gradually grows on you, and will get its intention through. Robert Duvall's subdued lead doesn't really get the best out of him, but it is a persuasive and considerable performance that the average person might recognize more than he does with most contemporary movie protagonists. Tess Harper hasn't got the scope to match him, but Beresford largely protects her from having to deal with that, and ultimately he guides his study to a beautiful, simplistic finale.