Paris, Texas

Paris, Texas ★★★½

[69]

Incredibly lyrical which, paradoxically, only becomes troublesome when words are involved. Travis’s soliloquy to Jane through a two-way mirror—despite its beautifully poised symbolism—nearly ruins the film for me, a film that is otherwise glistening with spells of silence and whittling slide guitars. The only thing that sort of saves the scene is Kinski’s actorly devotion to the heartbreak (she whips up a batch of snot and tears so casually that it almost makes Travis’s monologue convincing). Didn’t care for Wenders’s overly poetic gabbing when it was mostly voiceover (in e.g. WINGS OF DESIRE), I certainly don’t wish it to be part of the spoken narrative. (A narrative which, by the way, is 100% “real”; at least WINGS OF DESIRE could chalk that up to part of the angelic / supernatural angle.) Basically, any time Travis isn’t speaking, the film’s a masterpiece. When he opens his mouth for more than a few words at a time, it’s a disaster.

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