The Assassination of Richard Nixon (L'Assassinat de Richard Nixon) (Bilingual)
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A chilling drama that explores and exposes the dark side of the American Dream, The Assassination of Richard Nixon focuses on the tragic true story of Sam Bicke (Sean Penn), a disillusioned everyman who, in 1974, was driven to plot the assassination of the 37th president of the United States.
Sean Penn (looking rather Rupert Pupkin-like) is Samuel Bicke, whose life, circa 1974, has become unbearable. His wife (Naomi Watts) has left him, his dead-end sales job is killing him--even his best friend (Don Cheadle) has had enough. Bicke's a loser, but at least he's an honest one. Nixon, the epitome of dishonesty, becomes the locus of his rage, so Bicke devises a plan to eliminate him. Paul Schrader claims he finished writing Taxi Driver before the real-life Byck attempted to assassinate the president. Maybe so, but the similarities are hard to ignore (and "Bickle" sounds a lot like "Byck"). Niels Mueller (Tadpole) doesn't disguise the fact that his debut was inspired by the guy. If The Assassination of Richard Nixon doesn't hit Taxi Driver's (admittedly lofty) heights, it's still a discomfiting look at a man determined to leave his mark on the world, only to become a footnote. --Kathleen C. Fennessy
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Top Customer Reviews
I was very impressed with the depth the film makers gave Penn's character; though I understand that events leading up to the ending of a true event were fictionalized, they came very close to making the whole story real. And, Penn gave us the person in what might be his best performance.
The entertainment value of this motion picture is debatable. The film did cause me to react in much the same way as I would upon seeing a terrible traffic accident and, if that was what they were aiming to elicit in their audience, they succeeded with me. I was saddened and dumb-struck. I have yet to come to a satisfying answer other than that this is why we have social programs and religious institutions in our societies: we all have the potential of misfiring without them.
A few problems I had with the film is, I thought they tried to use the whole 9/11 happening to their fullest advantage and attract audiences. I also thought that Penn's character, Samuel Bicke, became somewhat annoying as the film went on.
Anyway, I definetly recommend it. This movie isn't for the average watcher, as you have to actually think every now and then. Though, if your idea of good movies is Ben Stiller and Will Smith, perhaps you should check out the latest action flick. :]