Via computer conferencing, a clean-shaven journalist, in crisp blue shirt, expensive cream jacket, and matching wide-brimmed hat, played by Nick Nolte, interviews a florid-faced underdressed, slightly unkempt Nick Nolte. The journalist asks probing questions: Nolte declines to answer some, but most he answers with philosophical reflections or a story. The questions follow a chronological line. Interspersed with the interview are on-camera remarks by actors, directors, a producer, and a writer who say complimentary things about Nolte's work and personality. In one story, Nolte explains the famous mug shot that's not a mug shot. Written by
Nick Nolte is a smart, and physically attractive actor. Even more so in his heyday in the seventies, eighties, and nineties. Nick Nolte: No Exit is an awkwardly made, awkwardly shot, and awkwardly executed documentary of Nick Nolte being interviewed by none other than himself dressed in a suit, cowboy hat, and a big white tie.
Suited up Nick is broadcasting on a Mac and asking the questions while regular Nick appears hazy, inattentive, and perhaps hungover broadcasting to himself on a black computer. Why did he chose this method? My guess is maybe he wanted a "the only person who understands me is myself" type of message or maybe he wanted his ranger-like persona to be like a news reporter. I don't know, but it begs an explanation.
Throughout the course of this documentary actors like James Gammon (the coach in Major League who I was very happy to see), Ben Stiller, Rosanna Arquette , Jacqueline Bisset , Powers Boothe, F.X. Feeney, Barbara Hershey, Paul Mazursky, Mike Medavoy, and Alan Rudolph make little cameo appearances talking about their experience working with Nick Nolte. Many admire him for his "no limits" sense and his devotion to acting, but others question what is left for him the future.
When Nolte asks Nolte questions, he just replies. The point of a Q&A event is to give thorough and elaborate answers to one's questions. Nolte just replies to them, and sometimes skips over by saying "next question" or "let's move on." This leaves many things open and leaves the audience just as curious as they were going into it.
The title claims "No Exit," but Nolte finds ways to exit things asked by himself. This reminds me very much of the 1989 video diary Corey Haim: Me, Myself and I. In that, Corey Haim answered questions, strangely, and replied as if he was trying to come up with the funniest and quirkiest answer. In this, Nick Nolte doesn't even want to answer. Why'd he make it? Who knows.
Nick Nolte: No Exit is a documentary that goes nowhere, and even though it clocks in at just seventy-four minutes, it tediously moves along. The celebrity interviews are nice, but next time if there shall be one, one of them should interview Nolte and instead of letting him let questions slip by, demand an answer from him. That may make for a more appealing, and honest documentary.
Starring: Nick Nolte, James Gammon, Rosanna Arquette , Jacqueline Bisset , Powers Boothe, F.X. Feeney, Barbara Hershey, Paul Mazursky, Mike Medavoy, Alan Rudolph, and Ben Stiller. Directed by: Tom Thurman.
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