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Bob Rafelson has stated that this is the final part of an informal trilogy he started with "Five Easy Pieces" and continued with "The King Of Marvin Gardens". In the three, Nicholson has now played son, brother and father. In this one, Nicholson is a wealthy wine dealer who has distanced himself from his wife with his philandering and from his son with his negligence. After he steals a diamond necklace with the help of a safecracker partner, Victor, things start coming apart. His wife sets out to interrupt what she thinks is another one of his weekend dalliances, but is really his trip to pawn the jewels. Written by
John Sacksteder <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Jack Nicholson and Michael Caine are so good in this movie. The temptation to chew up the scenery must have been overwhelming, but neither did. Neither grandstanded, and each played their vastly unappealing characters right down to the last detail.
Caine plays an aging and ill thief looking for that last big score on which he can retire. Nicholson plays a middle-class wine distributor locked into an unhappy marriage, failing business, and a young girlfriend to support. They unite to rob one of Nicholson's clients, an act they feel will solve all of their problems. Of course it doesn't and everything that can go wrong, does. And then things begin to turn ugly.
Dark, noirish, this is not a feel-good caper flick. It's definitely not "The Sting". What it is is well acted, directed, and filmed. Highly recommended, I'm just puzzled why it was overlooked at the Academy Awards.
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