'It's Monopoly out there'. Jason Staebler, The King of Marvin Gardens, has gone directly to jail, lives on the Boardwalk and fronts for the local mob in Atlantic City. He is also a dreamer ... See full summary »
The concurrent sexual lives of best friends Jonathan and Sandy are presented, those lives which are affected by the sexual mores of the time and their own temperament, especially in ... See full summary »
Robert Dupea has given up his promising career as a concert pianist and is now working in oil fields. He lives together with Rayette, who's a waitress in a diner. When Robert hears from his sister that his father isn't well, he drives up to Washington to see him, taking Rayette with him. There he gets confronted with his rich, cultured family that he had left behind. Written by
Leon Wolters <wolters@strw.LeidenUniv.nl>
The piece played by Dupea on the piano in the back of the truck driving down the road is Frédéric Chopin's Fantaisie in F minor. See more »
While Tita and Bobby are on the waterfront, talking, Tita is leaning on the tree with no coffee cup and in the next shot she is holding a coffee cup. In the next shot, the cup is gone and she is leaning on the tree again. See more »
Well, what if she was, Bob? I can't see nothin' so bad in that. Well, what if I were to let you in on a little secret that she is? That's right. She told me. She's all torn up about it, too, which I hate to see. Well hell, isn't it somethin' you just have to face up to? I tell ya, somewhere along the line, you even get to likin' the whole idea. When Stoney first give me the news, I coulda shit!
[Bobby spits out his food and throws down his food in disgust]
Well isn't that nice?
It's ridiculous. ...
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Bob Rafelson's FIVE EASY PIECES is about inner pain and suffering that just so happens to consume people in all walks of life. It is sometimes hard to watch and Nicholson's character "Robert" is a miserable SOB. However, he is also a very compelling character who affects all around him. He is lonely, he is scared, and he does not know what to do with himself.
If you are looking for plot, this is not the picture for you. The only remnants of a plot concern Nicholson's father, a distant memory of his previous prestigious lifestyle as a classical pianist, who has fallen sick. Jack decides to visit his family's estate to pay his last respects. This sets the forum of emotional indifference and misery. He hates his old life, which he left to become a construction worker and has taken up with a flighty waitress played brilliantly by Karen Black. He pretends to enjoy this simple way of living, but he treats Black like the trash he considers her to be and could care less about anyone.
Why should anyone see this film? Because Jack Nicholson is one of our greatest actors and he is able to transcend what was put on paper regarding the main character and project raw power and feelings in his own, unique way. The movie is littered with classic scenes, in particular, the chicken salad sandwich scene, one of the funniest I've ever seen. The one I feel that stands out and symbolizes the essence of the film is where Jack plays Chopin in the piano room while Rafelson's camera does a slow 360 around the room, glancing at pictures of his life before he fled from it. It is a perfect mixture of intensity, music, and sadness.
The last scene, which ends so abruptly, makes perfect sense within this context. It leaves us feeling empty and unfulfilled, exactly how Nicholson's character feels. This is what makes this character piece all the more powerful.
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