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“You’re a strange person, Robert. I mean, what will you come to? If a person has no love for himself, no respect for himself, no love of his friends, family, work, something – how can he ask for love in return? I mean, why should he ask for it?” – Catherine
Number of Times Seen – 1 (10 Mar 2013 and 5 Feb 2018)
Brief Synopsis – An oil worker not content with his life tries to find a way to happiness.
My Take on it – This is a film that I saw a few years ago and wasn’t too enthralled with but since it was nominated for Best Picture, I decided to rewatch in hopes that maybe I would find a way to connect with the film more this time.
But that wasn’t meant to be because I believe that I enjoyed this film this time even less than the first time I saw it.
We all know that Jack Nicholson is a great actor and he has been nominated so many times for an Oscar (not to mention his three wins), but sometimes his roles just don’t connect well enough.
This, IMHO is one of those situations.
His character is constantly seeking his place in life and after running away from his high class life, he does his best to be a blue collar worker while working on an oil field.
His life is passing him by yet he still isn’t content with anything and wants something else.
He constantly yearns to return to his love of music, yet for some reason doesn’t choose to actively pursue this and would rather cheat on his girlfriend and try to have fun which also doesn’t help him feel more content in life.
I just couldn’t understand the character’s real motivations and didn’t care much for the way he chose to act.
The story itself moves along really slowly and doesn’t go anywhere while trying to help Nicholson’s character find his way in life.
Perhaps I am missing something here with this story or maybe it was more relate-able back when it came out, but I personally just couldn’t care much for it and am completely baffled as to how this was nominated for Best Picture that year along with Best screenplay, Actor (Nicholson) and Actress (Karen Black).
Bottom Line – Still baffled how this film got nominated for Best Picture that year. The performances are nice including that of Nicholson in the lead yet, I couldn’t sympathize with the character at all and didn’t really care as to what would happen to him. The story doesn’t really move along very well and despite knowing that the characters are seeking something better, they rarely try getting it. Perhaps this was more relate-able at the time, but I was just bored the whole time. Even the diner scene wasn’t as powerful as some have claimed.
MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – When Dupea goes to quit his oil-rigging job, the loud whirring of machines can be heard in the background. This identical sound effect was used by George Lucas for the trash compacter scene in Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (1977). (From IMDB)
Rating – Razzie Worthy (3/10)
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