A Bountiful Story
Unable to drive and no longer suppose to travel alone Carrie Watts (Cicely Tyson - The Help) reluctantly lives with Ludie (Blair Underwood), her overprotective and extremely busy son along with his bossy wife, Jessie Mae (Vanessa Williams - Imagine That). But all Carrie really wants is to return to her hometown of Bountiful and every time she asks Ludie the response is no. But a little matter of permission is not going to stop Carrie who sneaks out to the bus station and starts her trip to Bountiful meeting a young girl, Thelma (Keke Palmer - Abducted: The Carlina White Story), on the way back home. When Ludie and Jessie May realise she has gone they call on the help of the police to try and find her but Carrie has a certain way about her which means even a lawman ends up helping her reach her destination.
As I write this it is the 1st February 2017 and for me one of the great injustices is that Cicely Tyson has never won an Oscar. And whilst I am no expert on Cicely Tyson's movie career I would say that part of the reason is that some of her finest performances have come later on in life where she has been the star of various TV movies, delivering the sort of touching, weathered performance which blows you away due to its rich depth.
And that is what you get in "The Trip to Bountiful", from the moment we see Cicely Tyson as Carrie walking down the street singing a gospel song to the way she moves around her son's house always busying herself with the cleaning. Just in those two scenes she brings the character of Carrie Watts to life in such a magnificent way that we want to know all about her life, the trials and tribulations she has endured and her faith in God which make her unstoppable even in her advanced years.
Now I will say that Cicely Tyson plays Carrie Watts in a somewhat familiar way, the wise but cunning elderly lady. But that familiarity makes Carrie all the more likable and as I said the sort of person you want to spend time with getting to know. But you also find yourself being inspired by her which is what "The Trip to Bountiful" is all about, yes there is this drama of Carrie going away without telling her son but this movie is all about this wonderful woman and her resilient spirit.
Now I have gone on about Cicely Tyson a fair bit and in fairness she is not the only one who delivers a good performance in "The Trip to Bountiful". Keke Palmer captures that cinematic 1940s style quite brilliantly and brings so much youthful charm to the role making the scenes she shares with Cicely Tyson unsurprisingly pleasant. And then there is Vanessa Williams who delivers a brilliantly comical performance as Carrie's pretentious daughter-in-law. But this movie thrives because of Cicely Tyson and without her "The Trip to Bountiful" would have struggled.
What this all boils down to is that "The Trip to Bountiful" is simply one of those movies which oozes charm and succeeds because of not just the perfect casting of Cicely Tyson but also her perfect performance which makes me think that with each passing year Cicely Tyson has got better and better.