Ironweed (1987)


“Doc says I got cancer. First thing I ever got.” – Rudy

Number of Times Seen – 1 (28 Oct 2019)

Brief Synopsis – During the Depression, a homeless man revisits his boyhood town around Halloween with the hope that he will be able to put his life back on track.

My Take on it – This is a film that I’ve never had any desire to see despite knowing about it for over thirty years.

The story is told in a very slow and boring fashion that unfortunately doesn’t work as well as one might hope from a film that features both Meryl Streep and Jack Nicholson.

Both of them were nominated for Oscars for their work here but nether is able to make us care enough about these characters who are trying to find ways to make amends for their pasts.

The story shows how they are both teetering on the brink of madness due to the things that have happened in their pasts and one is never quite sure what they believe to be real and what they are imagining.

This film is based on a prize winning novel that just doesn’t translate well enough to the screen.

The characters are probably fleshed out much better on paper which has the ability to go much deeper into their past and their psyches in order to develop them more realistically.

The one thing that this film does well is the way that it shows how these characters are trying to revisit their past and find a way to make amends for all that they have done over the years.

The story here is over long and nearly 2 and half hours doesn’t allow for things to be dealt with in a more succint way and instead drags things along too much.

Bottom Line – Really slow moving drama that doesn’t work as well as one would expect since it features Nicholson and Streep. This is based on a prize winning novel which is probably able to develop these character on a much deeper level on paper than on screen. The idea of revisiting people and places from the past is actually done well because it makes the viewer wonder where these characters minds are as they teeter on madness. The story is a bit overlong and doesn’t allow enough for things to play out in a more succint way.  Both Streep and Nicholson were nominated for Oscars for their work here but neither was able to win.

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Jack Nicholson’s contract included a clause which allowed him to leave the shooting location to attend all Los Angeles Lakers basketball games.  (From IMDB)

Rating – BAFTA Worthy (5/10)

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One thought on “Ironweed (1987)

  1. Pingback: Did They Get it Right? – Best Actress – Oscars 1987 | MovieRob

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