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About Schmidt

  • Apr 23, 2012
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Rating:
+5
My god, what a fucking phenomenal film. This is my second foray into the works of Alexander Payne and if I can gauge anything from those two films it is that I need to see Election and Sideways as soon as possible. The film tells the fascinating and utterly realistic (which is one of the main things I loved about The Descendants and one of the main things I loved about this) story of Warren Schmidt, a recent retiree who loses his wife (ironically after listing all the things he hates about her) and goes through a three-quarters-through-life crisis, realizing just how empty his life had been. Anyway, the story proper beigins when he takes an RV trip to Denver to try and stop his daughter's wedding, merely because she's marrying a man he doesn't like. But the story isn't really the most important element of the film in this case. In this case, it's the discoveries that Schmidt makes about himself and just how sheltered he'd been, and how his life had simply been going on around him. He has no real friends, so he decides to sponsor a child in Africa, to whom he writes letters (providing the film's voice-ovver narration). This voice-over narration is done in the tragicomedic way of The Descendants (or should I say the other way around) and it definitely works in the film's favour, giving the audience insight into the character of Warren Schmidt, who is one of the finest characters ever written, who is one of the finest characters ever written (bravo Mr. Payne). The script is absolutely brilliant and the characters memorable (which is what I've liked about Payne's films thus far), and I hope it won the Oscar that year becaause it sure as hell deserved it. But like The Descendants, the script would just be a good script were it not for the fantastic leading performance, from Jack Nicholson in this case. Jack Nicholson fully embodies the character of Schmidt and plays it perfectly, oftentimes reminding me of my own grandfather. It is he and the script that carry this film, and everything else exists merely to complement the two. He is backed up by solid supporting performances from Kathy Bates, Dermot Mulroney, and several other people who's anems I cannot remember., as well as solid directional work from Payne. Anyway, I've rambled on enough. Payne is growing to become one of my favourite directors (perhaps he could even top the list someday) and it is because he makes films like About Schmidt, films that warrant at least one viewing in one's lifetime. Phenomenal work.

 

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More About Schmidt reviews
review by . January 20, 2003
posted in Movie Hype
Pros: thought provoking     Cons: really sad, quite slow     The Bottom Line: Really, really sad and goes at a slow pace. Just remember the tissues.     I'm on the SAG (Screen Actors Guild) Nomination Committee for the SAG Awards. I'll admit it, I'm a lucky duck. I've been getting DVDs and videos of movies that have just been released so that I can consider the cast and film for an award. (I've got the BIG categories, too: Best Actor, Best …
review by . January 20, 2003
Pros: thought provoking     Cons: really sad, quite slow     The Bottom Line: Really, really sad and goes at a slow pace. Just remember the tissues.     I'm on the SAG (Screen Actors Guild) Nomination Committee for the SAG Awards. I'll admit it, I'm a lucky duck. I've been getting DVDs and videos of movies that have just been released so that I can consider the cast and film for an award. (I've got the BIG categories, too: Best Actor, Best …
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Jack Nicholson stars as Warren Schmidt, a man who is set adrift following retirement and the sudden death of his wife. Uncertain about his future as well as his past, Warren packs up his 30-foot Winnebago to set out on a journey across the Nebraska plains to attend his daughter's (Hope Davis) wedding to a waterbed salesman (Dermot Mulroney). But every step he takes seems wrong, and Warren seems destined to end his life as he lived it: a failure. But along the way, Warren recounts his journey and shares his observations with an unexpected friend - a poor Tanzanian boy he is sponsoring for 73 cents a day. In his long letters to the boy, Warren begins to see himself and the life he has lived with new eyes.
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