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|Index||171 reviews in total|
After growing up under a violent, drunken father and a do nothing abused mother, a man's adult life becomes a total mess. A mental wreck, he is unable to bond with anyone and slowly goes over the deep end after a hunting accident. Nolte gives one of his better performances as the doomed man incapable of loving or being loved.
Silence can be so golden. Unfortunately, Paul Schrader doesn't seem to
agree. There is a lot of dialogue in this movie, which means a smaller
percentage of it is actually meaningful. This is not what you might call
"economical storytelling." Also, I tend to think that improbable storylines
devalue otherwise meaningful films. To borrow a line, "crude propaganda for
a good cause is still crude propaganda."
The somber climate and the bleak perspective are well established, but that isn't enough to save this film. James Coburn is obviously the standout here, and Nick Nolte actually gives a serviceable performance, but otherwise I don't have anything positive to say about this film except that the setting is nice.
Affliction is a film written (from a book) and directed by Paul Schrader
with care and goodness with his actors. Another one of his films, Blue
Collar, examined men under pressure, as does this film, only it is in an
entirely different situation and setting, thought the theme hangs
Nick Nolte gives one of the best male performances of 1998 as a drunk, abusive, and overall sad father and ex-husband/sherrif who has lost control of his life; mainly in due part to his also volcanicly drunk and ultra-abusive father (James Colburn in a richly deserved Oscar Winning role). When the two are on the screen, which isn't too often, the film is a 4 star movie. Some parts lag on, but the film overall is powerfull, one of the most of it's kind in the late 90's, and is definately up there on the list on movies about families (crazily with Ordinary People, Pay It Forward and You Can Count On Me). Willem Dafoe also appears as Nolte's brother and is the film's narrator. A
"Affliction" peers into every nook and cranny of the Nolte character's life as it shows him, scarred from a life of abuse at the hands of his father (Coburn), stumbling in every relationship in spite of good intentions and slowly unraveling like human entropy. An excellent film in all respects, this award winning drama accomplishes little more than treating the audience to some sterling performances: Nolte and Coburn in particular. Well worth a watch though of more interest to critics than the populace.
This movie paints a dark picture of a small town man who is slowly losing
his grip on life. After a bitter divorce, Wade Whitehouse (Nick Nolte) finds
himself with a daughter who doesn't want to spend time with him and a job as
police officer in a town with little crime. He hopes for things that won't
happen and when he must tend to his abusive father, he starts to lose it.
This movie is not action packed and doesn't evince any emotions other than pity. Nevertheless, it is well made and Nick Nolte and James Coburn both give excellent performances.
I really had high hopes for this film but it was a slow, shuffling mess. I could hardly understand Sissy Spacek or Nick Nolte in the quieter moments when they both mumbled their lines. The icy setting was used to good effect but the small appearance by Willem Dafoe was a waste. What drew me to this film had to be the Oscar that was given to Mr James Coburn whose previous work i've admired. His performance while very good as pure evil did not get the screen time it deserved. More of Nick Nolte and James Coburn together and less of the deer hunt killing sub plot! What a waste. *1/2 out of ****
This is a very surreal look at a down on his luck sherriff (Nick Nolte's best performance ever). He gives a brutal, ugly performance as Wade Whitehouse, a man that grew up with an alcoholic, abusive father played by James Coburn (Best Supporting Actor Oscar), a rocky relationship with his daughter, and the disrespect of the town. Eventually he becomes as "afflicted" as his father and begins to lash out violently and excessively.
Movies like "Affliction" tend to get elbowed out of the way by flashy, pushy crowd-pleasers lacking originality. It's a shame. This is a fine, well-acted drama by generally strong writer-director Paul Schrader, who has scripted movies such as "Taxi Driver" and "Raging Bull" as well as films he's directed. Nick Nolte is outstanding as a New Hampshire police officer who's slowly crumbling as his personal life and professional life tug him in different, destructive directions, while the legacy of his violent father drags him down. The film isn't perfect; the script at times doesn't hit as hard as it could, but this is generally very fine, rare filmmaking. 8 of 10 stars.
If you grew up in a healthy family - if there is any such thing as a healthy family - you may not like AFFLICTION. It had so many powerful connections to my own personal life that I found it nearly overwhelming. Great, just great. Although James Coburn did deserve the Oscar he won as supporting actor in this, it was Nick Nolte who just killed me, watching it. And the ineffable Sissy Spacek: great, just great.
If you like pleasure spiked with pain, by all means, rush out and see this film. This movie does present a successful formula to win the coveted gold statue. Make a piece of crap film, insert one shining character, get an under-appreciated genius of an actor. Viola! James Coburn and James Coburn alone makes this movie watchable. A friend and I had to reassure each other that if we suffered long enough then Coburn would show back up on screen. His performance is so good, that we realized we might forget how bad this movie is and somewhere down the road delude ourselves that it was good and watch it again. However, we must never forget that no matter how good Coburn is, this movie isn't worth the pain.
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