August 7, 2009
I ended up having to retract my long-held-to aversion to Jack Nicholson last night following a screening of Easy Rider at San Francisco's Red Vic movie theatre. I have seen the film several times before. But it had been years since my last viewing. One of the best things about the film is Jack Nicholson's performance as a drunk and muddled momma's boy of a small-town lawyer. He brings such vitality and sweetness to the role. His death in the middle is the cruelest moment of the entire film.
I think, perhaps, that there was something inspired about Nicholson in his early years. Then he became typecast as a weirdo and his performances became increasingly one-dimensional. I couldn't get more than 20 minutes through About Schmidt. Jackson's approach to acting has become a caricature of itself of late. It was wonderful, through reacquainting myself with Easy Rider, to remind myself that he was once a great actor.