“Paris, Texas” is a slow burn that feels reminiscent of a David Lynch film, where more questions are asked without any answers and silence speaks louder than any dialogue. The film starts off with a man (Harry Dean Stanton) wandering the desert aimlessly and it basically feeds us little by little from that point on, slowly answering the questions of why he’s there and where he was going at its own pace. Stanton’s performance drives this film, never speaking a word in the first third of the film as he slowly but surely regains his humanity and what he holds dear.
His performance almost feels like a child maturing, starting out as a picky brat who refuses to talk, evolving into a curious but charming helper who wants to make a difference, ultimately becoming a man who wants to right the wrongs of his past. It all leads to a beautifully paced and shot climax that sells the entire picture, one of the great film endings. “Paris, Texas” certainly isn’t for everyone, but there’s no denying that it is emotionally-charged and perfectly performed.
Final Grade: B