"Tender Mercies" is about a troubled former country music star who falls in love with a widowed single mother who helps him find personal and spiritual redemption. When he has the opportunity to return to his former life, he must make tough choices.
The protagonist of "Tender Mercies" is Mac Sledge. Sledge was once a famous country music artist but has become destitute due mostly to his alcoholism. He is divorced from his wife, Dixie, who is a country music star. He is also estranged from his teenage daughter, Sue Anne. One morning, he wakes up in a small town at a roadside motel run by a woman called Rosa Lee, whose husband was killed in the Vietnam war. Lee allows Sledge to stay and work for his room. Eventually, the two become a couple. Sledge gives up drinking and begins to attend church.
"Tender Mercies" was released in 1983 and was nominated for several academy awards. Robert Duvall, who plays Mac Sledge, won the academy award for Best Actor for his performance. The film also stars Tess Harper as Rosa Lee, Betty Buckley as Dixie and Ellen Barkin as Sue Anne. Wilford Brimley also appears as Mac's former manager.