Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Unfair review #8

About Schmidt is the last film I saw. It's good and bad, in pretty much equal measures.

  • Jack Nicholson playing the old man he actually is (or would be if he lived in the real world, not Hollywood).
  • The many little moments of comedy, most of them recognisable from real life.
  • The deep sadness of the main character.
  • The lack of direction in the story - it meanders, seemingly as if it was made up on the spot. This can't be the case, as it originated as a novel, but it seemed that way to me.
  • The deep sadness of the main character - I know I've got this as a good point, but even with the final scene of the film, I found it rather unrelenting, and (I'll admit) a little bit overwhelming.
  • The length. ***SPOILER*** This is the longest World Vision child sponsorship advertisement I've ever seen. ***SPOILER***
I really can see the appeal of the film - it's a rare and accurate slice of what life really is for a lot of people - but overall, it just isn't for me. Do not watch this if you like your movie-watching experience to be all about escapism.

I'll watch it again when I'm 60 (hopefully the holographic re-dub will be out by then).

1 comment:

afraid said...

Well, I loved 'About Schmidt'. It's the best Nicholson performance I've seen, because he relies sparingly on the old shark's grin and eyebrow-raises and actually gets inside the character instead. I also happen to think Alexander Payne is an excellent director, capable of extracting nearly everything from the stories he selects, and in a way that you hardly even notice. By that I mean he rarely draws attention to himself - the camera is usually stationary, the shots longish - but his films are indelibly his. See 'Election' and 'Sideways' for further proof.

Perhaps I should just do a counter-review?