Five Easy Pieces
This subtle, existential character study of an emotionally distant outcast (Nicholson) forced to confront his past failures remains an intimate cornerstone of American '70s cinema. Written and directed with remarkable restraint by Bob Rafelson, the film is the result of a short-lived partnership between the filmmaker and Nicholson--the first was the zany formalist exercise, Head, while the equally impressive King of Marvin Gardens followed Five Easy Pieces. Quiet and full of long, controlled takes, this film draws its strength from the acutely detailed, nonjudgmental observations of its complex protagonist, Robert Dupea--an extremely crass and frustrated oil worker, and failed child pianist hiding from his past in Texas. Dupea spends his life drinking beer and sleeping with (and cheating on) his annoying but adoring Tammy Wynette-wannabe girlfriend, but when he learns that his father is dying in Washington State, he leaves. After the film transforms into a spirited road movie, and arrives at the eccentric upper-class Dupea family mansion, it becomes apparent that leaving is what Dupea does best--from his problems, fears, and those who love him. Nicholson gives a difficult yet masterful performance in an unlikable role, one that's full of ambiguity and requires violent shifts in acting style. Several sequences--such as his stopping traffic to play piano, or his famous verbal duels with a cranky waitress over a chicken-salad sandwich--are Nicholson landmarks. Yet, it's the quieter moments, when Dupea tries miserably to communicate and reconcile with his dying father, where the actor shows his real talent--and by extension, shows us the wounded little boy that lurks in the shell of the man Dupea has become. --Dave McCoy --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
A movie that has not aged well.Very much 70s feel.Today we hopefully do not find boorish self obsessed behaviour quite as interesting.Or maybe I have just gotten older!Published 1 month ago by M. O'Donnell
Jack Nicolson Plays A Young Man Who Is Not Sure What He Wants Out Of Life. He Studied Concert Piano. But Still He Is Not Happy.
He Leaves Home To Try & Find Himself. Read more
I can't remember when I first saw this film, well over 30 years ago. What attracted me the most was the contrast between a life of privilege and a struggling working-class... Read morePublished on March 15 2013 by B. H.
Why does everyone say Nicholson's character is working in the "Texas" oil fields? It's the California oilfields (Bakersfield, Shafter California). Read morePublished on June 21 2004
This film got a fair amount of buzz in its time but I had never seen it. Having been interested by some of Nicholson's work (Head, Witches of Eastwick, Chinatown) I thought, in a... Read morePublished on April 16 2004
This wasn't very good. It wasn't very interesting. There was no real merit or redeeming quality to any of the characters. Read morePublished on Jan. 19 2004
This film requires intelligence on the part of the viewer- life in the 1970's.Published on Dec 19 2003
I saw this film when it was first released more than 30 years ago. Seeing it again recently, I was surprised by how much my reactions to it have changed during the last three... Read morePublished on July 6 2003 by Robert Morris