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The summer of 1984: 32 years after Duane Jackson captained the high school football team and Jacy Farrow was homecoming queen, the small town of Anarene, Texas prepares for its bicentennial. Oil prices are down, banks are failing, and Duane's $12 million in debt. His wife Karla drinks too much, his children are always in trouble, and he tom-cats around with the wives of friends. Jacy's back in town, after a mildly successful acting career, life in Italy, and the death of her son. People assume Duane and Jacy will resume their high school romance. And Sonny is "tired in his mind," causing worries for his safety. Can these friends find equilibrium in middle age? Written by
The year was 1990 and nothing less than nineteen years passed after the release of such classic as `The Last Picture Show', one of the greatest and most beautiful films ever.
During that time, writer Larry McMurtry published the sequel: `Texasville' and Bogdanovich eventually brought back the same team, in order to film it.
Throughout that time, almost every member of the unknown gallery of performers that starred in `The Last Picture Show' become stars and famous for their screen appearances.
Jeff Bridges (Duane Jackson) was the protagonist of some important Hollywood movies, like `Starman', `Thunderbolt and Lightfoot', `Cutter's Way' and `Against All Odds'. He became on of the most recognized actors of its generation. Cybill Sheperd (Jacy Farrow), not being such a famous name, was part of such projects like `Daisy Miller', `Taxi Driver' and `Chances Are'.
The lead performer of `The Last Picture Show', Timothy Bottoms (Sonny Crawford) was unable to achieve a good career as an actor. After starring in the wonderful `Johnny Got His Gun' and the great `The Paper Chase', his career started to collapse and he became one of the most wasted actors of all time. He is not famous, but recently starred as George W. Bush in the short living `That's My Bush' show. However his small part in `Texasville' as a mentally-disturbed Sonny, was ironically the best thing in the whole film, proving that talent is something that Bottoms still have.
However, the final result was not the same, and the nostalgia of `The Last Picture Show' dissolved in the smooth comedy-drama that characterized the 1990 sequel. Nevertheless this is far from being a bad movie: Bogdanovich's direction and the acting from a delightful cast, especially Bottoms with nothing more than 15 minutes in front of the cameras, do compensate for the lack of a story.
This movie will be of few interest to anyone who haven't seen `The Last Picture Show', but those who have can certainly give this one a chance: ***½/*****
P.S. I would love to see the third part of the trilogy (Duane's Depressed) being taken to the screen by Bogdanovich, with of course the same cast under his direction.
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