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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>
In 1969, Jack Nicholson made his big break in "Easy Rider", and the very next year, he got his first lead role in another "easy": "Five Easy Pieces". He plays Robert Eroica "Bobby" Dupea, a man from a well-off musical family. Bobby has given up his potential, choosing instead to work in the oil fields. Angry and with no goal in life, he spends most of his time drinking, partying, and ignoring his girlfriend Rayette Dipesto (Karen Black). Then, his father has a stroke, forcing Bobby to visit his family. Staying with his family prompts him to not only reconsider the path that he has chosen in life, but to reevaluate his whole existence, and how he abandoned his talent.
"Five Easy Pieces" was one of the movies that affirmed the new direction that the movie industry was taking in the late '60s and early '70s. Ten years earlier, they might have given the movie an idiotically sugary ending, but the movie does not have such an ending. The ending not only shows how unhappy Bobby is, but also the sense of cynicism that had come to pervade the country. A 10/10.
Of course, the really famous scene happens in the restaurant. Although that was probably just thrown in for comic relief, it truly is a classic.
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