Five Easy Pieces (Sous-titres français) [Import]
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In an Academy Award(r)-nominated performance for Best Actor (1970), Jack Nicholson is outstanding in FIVE EASY PIECES, the acclaimed drama from director Bob Rafelson. Although a brilliant, classical pianist from an intellectual, well-to-do family, Robert Dupea (Nicholson), has made a career out of running from job to job and woman to woman. Presently working in an oil field, Dupea spends most of his free time downing beers, playing poker and being noncommittal with his sexy but witless girlfriendRayette (Karen Black). But when he is summoned to his father's deathbed, Dupea returns home with Rayette, where he meets and falls for a sophisticated woman (Susan Anspach). Now caught between his conflicting lifestyles, the gifted but troubled Dupea must face issues that will change his life forever. Deceptively simple, but one of the most complex and interesting films of its time, FIVE EASY PIECES garnered a 1970 Academy Award(r) nomination for Best Picture with Black receiving the 1970 New Y
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.
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When the film opens Nicholson's character is working as a laborer in a southwestern dustbowl, scratching together a trailer-trash existence together with his hapless and emotionally challenged girlfriend, played to perfection by Karen Black. One immediately recognizes the level of inner-directed anger and consequent fits of uncontrollable rage that Bobby has to deal with, and despite all his attempts to simply ignore and block out the inner demons that drive him to distraction, he is losing the battle to wall out the noise coming from inside his head. His girlfriend is pregnant, ready to get serious and settle down, and the idea of such smarmy normality fills Bobby with undisguised disgust. As their relationship spins toward its inevitable unhappy conclusion, Bobby gets a cryptic emergency message to return home. His father appears to be dying.Read more ›
If you've seen this movie, you probably know what I'm talking about. There's one scene in which Nicholson REALLY doesn't want to invite his ditsy girlfriend (Karen Black) to come along to the family home to visit his dying father - and when he realizes he can't get out of it, he sits in his car and comes unglued. Then he get out, goes back inside and very calmly says, "Rayette, you wanna come with me?"
The other one is in a roadside café when the laconic waitress won't alter the menu selections by one jot - and again he comes unglued as only Nicholson can do when he's at the top of his performance, which he usually is.
But the rest of this movie is dark, dark, dark - a mood piece of a dysfunctional family. Nicholson plays a wounded outcast, a former piano prodigy who has been estranged from his father for years, spending his time as an oil worker in Texas, shacking up with his annoying girlfriend. When he learns his father is dying in Washington State, he sets off for 'home.' Most of the rest of the film is an odyssey, a road trip back to the family mansion and all he's left behind: his attachments, his family, his problems, his fears, and his failures.
Five Easy Pieces became a classic almost as soon as it was released. Don't miss it.
A depiction of the two conflicting lifestyles of one man is what "Five Easy Pieces" depicts. Bobby Dupea's downfaults have led him to a less rewarding life than what he could have potentially had. This is exposed even in the two main female interests of Bobby Dupea in the film. His girlfriend Rayette ; a loving yet simple Tammy Wynette-singing country waitress that he cheats on unjustly. Then there is Catherine; a sophisticated , intelligent , classically trained musician. Catherine is a partial reflection of what his life could have been and in the end of the film he is caught between returning to his ho-hum red neck life that he currently leads to returning to and embrassing a richer life he should have had with a much more sophisticated woman that he sincerely loves.
There are classic moments in this film that I don't really need to go over because we already know them but for me the film becomes more intriguing when he finally arrives at the island to visit his ill father and encounters Catherine.
I like to believe that at the very end of the film that he is returning back to the island to win Catherine and start a new life with her but , knowing the character of Bobby Dupea , he's probably running away from his current life to a completely new and uncertain one and that is the tragedy of Bobby Dupea; he is running away....again. Where he is going we don't truely know. We can only assume.
This film is deceptively complex because of the dynamic humanistic detail thats shown of all the characters in this film and how they relate to one another.
Great film! One of Jack Nicholson's best work and Karen Black is unforgettable as Rayette.....and its letterboxed too.
Most recent customer reviews
What can I say? A classic Jack Nicholson and a classic of the Sixties.Published 5 months ago by Carol J. Pettigrew
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 6 months ago by Isledoc
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