12 July 2021: Jack Nicholson (Part 2)

So I took a weekend off for my birthday accidentally. I hadn’t planned to. I feel like the older I get, the less important I think birthdays are, but then I also feel that I need to make the most of any chance to celebrate. Twenty nice is a weird age. There’s been a couple of jokes about getting close to thirty, but I think worrying about getting older only makes sense when things aren’t working out. My life is pretty sweet and things are really going to plan for me right now. So roll on twenty nine.

While I did take a weekend off, I want to make up for my skipped longer post. The song of the day posts are important but I can afford to miss one from time to time. I think it’s important to get my weekend long posts in. So I’m back to the multipart from two weeks ago, discussing Jack Nicholson. Just as a reminder, I’m looking back at some Jack Nicholson films to see if I can consolidate the respect he seems to get with my own opinion on the performances I have seen.

“The Last Detail” (1973)

“The Last Detail” is an odd film. It’s slapstick and meandering. Jack Nicholson has the more senior role which was different to “Easy Rider” and “Five Easy Pieces”. For some reason this was one of the first older Jack Nicholson films I watched and I wasn’t completely convinced by him. It’s worth a watch but it’s very much the Jack Nicholson I expected based on the way he is now.

“Chinatown” (1974)

“Chinatown” is a tough film to sell to anyone who hasn’t already seen it. Roman Polanski is an admitted child rapist and his work shouldn’t be celebrated as a result, particularly while he is still alive and can make money from it. However, it is a great film. Nicholson is great. He suffers my favourite film injury. It’s a cool story and it might have been good without Nicholson but he definitely adds to it. I’m very conflicted about liking the film, but it is a win for Jack Nicholson at the very least.

“One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” (1975)

“One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” is the very good and very much a Jack Nicholson film. I must admit to only seeing it for the first time recently. I think for a long time I was put off by Jack Nicholson. I just didn’t want to watch it. It’s an odd film. There’s a fairly decent sized red flag in that his character is in prison for statutory rape. I think the character is likeable and is intended to be, so it’s a little unsettling for that to have been his crime and for him to be kind of proud of it. He is very entertaining though and he plays it well. There is something very cat and mouse about the conflict between Nicholson’s McMurphy and Nurse Ratched and it’s probably the blueprint for petty tit for tat battles in film from that point onwards.

I have two more Jack Nicholson films to write about so I’m going to end Part 2 of the look at Jack Nicholson there in order to keep these posts as reasonable sizes.

12 July 2021: Jack Nicholson (Part 2)