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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "I won't be nuts for you!"
I would give this film four-and-a-half stars. Badly neglected by both audiences and critics at the time of it's original release, NUTS is a film that is ripe for reevaluation. Based on Tom Toplor's 1981 courtroom play, NUTS is definitely a dialogue-based film with little Hollywood flashiness. Though generally well-written (by Toplor, adapting his own work with Darryl...
Published on April 5 2004 by Det. Abilene

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining, but only fair
A great cast, but sort of a hokey and predictable plot. It totally has the feel of an adapted play. It's entertaining once, but that's about it. I think the thing was way overdone on Streisand's character making her own decisions and the whole "crazy" thing was just too much and the audience was beaten over the head too often with these themes. It wasn't adapted too...
Published on Feb. 4 2004


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "I won't be nuts for you!", April 5 2004
Ce commentaire est de: Nuts (DVD)
I would give this film four-and-a-half stars. Badly neglected by both audiences and critics at the time of it's original release, NUTS is a film that is ripe for reevaluation. Based on Tom Toplor's 1981 courtroom play, NUTS is definitely a dialogue-based film with little Hollywood flashiness. Though generally well-written (by Toplor, adapting his own work with Darryl Ponicsan and Alvin Sargent) and sharply staged and directed by veteran Martin Ritt, it is the cast whom is really responsible bringing NUTS to life. Barbra Streisand gives an absolutely bravura performance that should have earned her an Oscar nomination. Alternately hilarious and frightening, Streisand is always mesmerizing as she delves so far into character.
Richard Dreyfess is nothing less than Streisand's equal as her public defender. He too was robbed of an Oscar nomination. The supporting cast is a top-notch ensemble of professional character actors (Maureen Stapleton, Eli Wallach, Robert Webber, James Whitmore, and Karl Malden), all of whom work their craft flawlessly. Nuts' screenplay does indulge in the predictability of some of the typical courtroom-plot conventions a little too often, and it hardly gives us any surprises. However, I still praise Toplor's script for it's fascinating exploration of what constitutes as normality and whether or not the insane should be required to receive treatment. NUTS isn't going to win over any fans of 3-cuts-per-second action films, but it leave lovers of thought-provoking, expertly-acted dramas fascinated.
About the DVD: The picture quality is dark and grainy, however, I believe that this reflects the film's intended look. The sound is fine, and it's nice to have the film's trailer included. Streisand's intelligent and entertaining full-length commentary is the main extra here, and it more than makes up for the disappointing tracks she contributed to the WHAT'S UP, DOC? and MAIN EVENT DVDs.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining, but only fair, Feb. 4 2004
By A Customer
Ce commentaire est de: Nuts (DVD)
A great cast, but sort of a hokey and predictable plot. It totally has the feel of an adapted play. It's entertaining once, but that's about it. I think the thing was way overdone on Streisand's character making her own decisions and the whole "crazy" thing was just too much and the audience was beaten over the head too often with these themes. It wasn't adapted too well from the stage, that is what plays often do.
Also, the whole premise of a 40-ish Streisand playing a successful high class call girl made this an unintentional comedy. The scene where she lists what she charges for doing what, I almost starting laughing outloud as the hilarity of anyone paying someone with her looks and age that much money. And the scenes where she tries to act like a sexy vamp, in both flashbacks, in court, and with her attorney, are equally hilarious. Streisand was miscast here, big time. She needs to stick with Fanny Bryce-type roles, or play women where looks are not dependent on the character. Streisand is not nearly as bad looking as people make her out, and has aged well, but a successful 40-ish high class call girl is just too much of a stretch. It's a meaty role I imagine she really wanted, but you have to be at least fairly attractive/hot to pull it off. She's not.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars CAPTIVATING PERFORMANCES OVERSHADOW SOMEWHAT CLICHED PLOT, April 24 2004
By 
Shashank Tripathi (Gadabout) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Ce commentaire est de: Nuts (DVD)
The movie is almost solely carried by Barbara Streisand's scorching performance as a high class hooker wrongly accused of first degree manslaughter. The courtroom scenes are fascinating, and if you love fast witty banter, this is a delight. The subject is weighty (a couple of rants toward the end are also a bit predictably feminist) but thought-provoking, and its rendition into the dramatic screenplay is very, very satisfying. Highly recommended for the discerning viewer.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Nuts for NUTS, July 2 2003
By 
Matt Howe "outloud98" (Washington, DC) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Ce commentaire est de: Nuts (DVD)
Barbra Streisand's 1987 film, NUTS, deals with appearances - a theme she explores in other films as well. NUTS is Barbra's second time out playing a prostitute. Claudia Draper, Barbra's character in NUTS, is very different from the comedic prostitute she plays in OWL & THE PUSSYCAT. In NUTS, Claudia faces a trial. The movie's drama lies in the outcome. Is Claudia really insane? Is she competent to stand trial for manslaughter? Or will her abrasive personality and challenging questions convince those in authority that she needs to be sent away to a hospital instead? Director Martin Ritt reveals what really happened to Claudia and her "client" (played by Leslie Nielson) pretty early in the story -- leaving the audience rooting for Claudia for the rest of the film.
Barbra's performance as Claudia is very good. Barbra admits in the audio commentary that the role enabled her to vent some of her anger and play "the bad girl." She does so with relish, spouting four-letter words and sexually explicit dialogue. Barbra is very bold here. It's refreshing to see her go for it.
It's hard to get past some of the obvious parallels in the movie with Barbra's real life. The entire theme of the film certainly pertains to Barbra's experiences in Hollywood - don't ask questions; stay in your place; play the part of the actress and don't rock the boat. In the commentary, Barbra admits that she gets into trouble when she tells the truth. Usually, people don't want to hear it and punish the truth-teller. Also, the stepfather role that Karl Malden plays brings to mind Barbra's difficult relationship with her own stepfather -- although the nature of the relationship in the film is quite different than Barbra's real-life experiences. Related to that is the mother-daughter dynamic. The film explores what choices a mother makes when she is divorced and desires another man in her life. How does the child suffer? What is more important -- one's own needs, or one's daughter's? On the surface level, the art direction for Claudia's apartment greatly resembles the color scheme of Streisand's art deco home, mauves and roses.
The supporting actors in the film are mostly Actor's Studio veterans and film legends: Karl Malden, Maureen Stapleton, Eli Wallach. Richard Dreyfuss is good as Levinsky, Claudia's public defender. His character learns that the client should be heard, not "whipped by rules." Dreyfuss is particularly good (and very natural) when he finally stumbles onto a direct line of questioning during a cross-examination of Claudia's stepfather.
As for the DVD, NUTS transfers pretty well. Andrzej Bartkowiak's cinematography suffers in electronic translation. His moving pictures are soft, dark, and subtle. The DVD looks grainy when the picture gets too dark. I'm sure this is a film versus video problem, as Warner Brothers DVDs tend to have excellent transfers. On my widescreen digital TV, NUTS looks best in its brighter scenes.
The Streisand commentary is very interesting. She speaks during most of the film. She recounts production stories (boyfriend Richard Baskin suggested Barbra for the role to a Warner Brothers producer during a tennis game) and her interesting research into the role.
I saw NUTS in the theaters in 1987 and was moved by the film then. Sixteen years later, the film holds up. The only weak link for me is the film's notion of a prostitute. I was confused by the portrait they painted. Barbra seems sophisticated and refined on Claudia's "dates." I kept wondering what type of call girl she was. Is she in the back of the phone book? Did she build a loyal clientele through referrals? The emotional part of the story, however, succeeds every time I watch NUTS. You'll root for Claudia. You'll hear what she's saying. She won't be another picture in your head. She won't play "nuts" for you.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Nuts for NUTS, July 2 2003
By 
Matt Howe "outloud98" (Washington, DC) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Ce commentaire est de: Nuts (DVD)
Barbra Streisand's 1987 film, NUTS, deals with appearances - a theme she explores in other films as well. NUTS is Barbra's second time out playing a prostitute. Claudia Draper, Barbra's character in NUTS, is very different from the comedic prostitute she plays in OWL & THE PUSSYCAT. In NUTS, Claudia faces a trial. The movie's drama lies in the outcome. Is Claudia really insane? Is she competent to stand trial for manslaughter? Or will her abrasive personality and challenging questions convince those in authority that she needs to be sent away to a hospital instead? Director Martin Ritt reveals what really happened to Claudia and her "client" (played by Leslie Nielson) pretty early in the story -- leaving the audience rooting for Claudia for the rest of the film.
Barbra's performance as Claudia is very good. Barbra admits in the audio commentary that the role enabled her to vent some of her anger and play "the bad girl." She does so with relish, spouting four-letter words and sexually explicit dialogue. Barbra is very bold here. It's refreshing to see her go for it.
It's hard to get past some of the obvious parallels in the movie with Barbra's real life. The entire theme of the film certainly pertains to Barbra's experiences in Hollywood - don't ask questions; stay in your place; play the part of the actress and don't rock the boat. In the commentary, Barbra admits that she gets into trouble when she tells the truth. Usually, people don't want to hear it and punish the truth-teller. Also, the stepfather role that Karl Malden plays brings to mind Barbra's difficult relationship with her own stepfather -- although the nature of the relationship in the film is quite different than Barbra's real-life experiences. Related to that is the mother-daughter dynamic. The film explores what choices a mother makes when she is divorced and desires another man in her life. How does the child suffer? What is more important -- one's own needs, or one's daughter's? On the surface level, the art direction for Claudia's apartment greatly resembles the color scheme of Streisand's art deco home, mauves and roses.
The supporting actors in the film are mostly Actor's Studio veterans and film legends: Karl Malden, Maureen Stapleton, Eli Wallach. Richard Dreyfuss is good as Levinsky, Claudia's public defender. His character learns that the client should be heard, not "whipped by rules." Dreyfuss is particularly good (and very natural) when he finally stumbles onto a direct line of questioning during a cross-examination of Claudia's stepfather.
As for the DVD, NUTS transfers pretty well. Andrzej Bartkowiak's cinematography suffers in electronic translation. His moving pictures are soft, dark, and subtle. The DVD looks grainy when the picture gets too dark. I'm sure this is a film versus video problem, as Warner Brothers DVDs tend to have excellent transfers. On my widescreen digital TV, NUTS looks best in its brighter scenes.
The Streisand commentary is very interesting. She speaks during most of the film. She recounts production stories (boyfriend Richard Baskin suggested Barbra for the role to a Warner Brothers producer during a tennis game) and her interesting research into the role.
I saw NUTS in the theaters in 1987 and was moved by the film then. Sixteen years later, the film holds up. The only weak link for me is the film's notion of a prostitute. I was confused by the portrait they painted. Barbra seems sophisticated and refined on Claudia's "dates." I kept wondering what type of call girl she was. Is she in the back of the phone book? Did she build a loyal clientele through referrals? The emotional part of the story, however, succeeds every time I watch NUTS. You'll root for Claudia. You'll hear what she's saying. She won't be another picture in your head. She won't play "nuts" for you.
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3.0 out of 5 stars No Underestimating That Streisand (i.e. N.U.T.S.), Aug. 5 2002
By 
Matt Howe "outloud98" (Washington, DC) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Ce commentaire est de: Nuts (DVD)
... It's themes echo those in Streisand's own life: speaking out for what you believe; sexism; challenging the system; and child sexual and emotional abuse.
NUTS is a difficult movie in Streisand's career. She's trying really hard in this film to provide a dramatic performance. And Streisand does a great job! She has some wonderful moments in NUTS. I think some of the problems, however, lie in the script - or maybe in the U.S. court system! ...
The supporting cast is incredible - a who's who of old-school Method acting. Karl Malden plays against type in his role as Claudia's stepfather - his revelatory scene with Streisand brings chills. Maureen Stapleton and Eli Wallach turn in fine performances too, although Mr. Wallach is given the thankless task of playing "therapist bad guy."
My overall impression with NUTS is that it is "old-fashioned" in acting style and presentation. It is gloriously photographed and everyone speaks beautifully. If it were made by a different director and starred different actors, then NUTS would be a completely different show. For instance, imagine Debra Winger (orginally aligned with the project) as Claudia.
The point with Streisand is that her films and concerts are all performance art - variations on a theme: her life. Her fans (of which I am one) appreciate this. It's not so much that Streisand succeeds or fails at playing a prostitute. It's that, cognizant or not, she chose a role that dealt with the abuse from a step father and the mending of a relationship with a mother - two themes in Streisand's own personal life. And Streisand plays a character that's not very likable because she speaks her mind and annoys everyone around her - much like Streisand in her professional life as well.
I find the film fascinating on those levels.
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3.0 out of 5 stars So-so movie of a not bad play, April 10 2000
Ce commentaire est de: Nuts (VHS Tape)
The cast is stellar, veterans like Maldan, Stapleton, etc do their best with material - a stagy play turned into a stagy film. That doesn't make it uninteresting - but you do feel it's a play. Claudia Draper is an interesting character and one has to connect with her, thru Streisand. As a huge Streisand fan, my one wishes of her was to tackle a character role. Well, Claudia is that kind of role - but it brings also mixed feelings as what Streisand brings to a role. Streisand's charisma is always there, but one feels Claudia is put aside a bit. As the highly priced hooker, we have to stretch imagination a bit, believing it is Streisand. One could, if Barbra would totally emerge into the role. But she plays it both ways: moments she is Claudia, moments not at all -and then she'll always show how hard she is working to convince you - that she's Streisand most of all. Barbra could be great if she'd let go of her ego....
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5.0 out of 5 stars Striesand's best performance, Sept. 2 2003
By 
S. Gould "gouldpjaks" (Woodmere, NY United States) - See all my reviews
Ce commentaire est de: Nuts (DVD)
"Nuts" is a must see for Striesand fans and anyone who enjoys a well written script and an exceptionally strong cast. The story of a high priced escort (Streisand) accused of murder and forced to go on trial to prove her sanity, in order to stand trial, is gripping. Her parents, who've had enough of her antics, want to send her to an asylum. Her state appointed counsel (played to perfection by Richard Dreyfuss) is compelled to find a way to prove her sanity to the courts as well as to his client. Perhaps there are no real surprises but the careful uncovering of layers of deceipt and mistrust is very real and honestly played out in this highly emotional and sentimental movie. I highly reccommend this film to all who enjoy good movie making.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Striesand's best performance, Sept. 2 2003
By 
S. Gould "gouldpjaks" (Woodmere, NY United States) - See all my reviews
Ce commentaire est de: Nuts (DVD)
"Nuts" is a must see for Striesand fans and anyone who enjoys a well written script and an exceptionally strong cast. The story of a high priced escort (Streisand) accused of murder and forced to go on trial to prove her sanity, in order to stand trial, is gripping. Her parents, who've had enough of her antics, want to send her to an asylum. Her state appointed counsel (played to perfection by Richard Dreyfuss) is compelled to find a way to prove her sanity to the courts as well as to his client. Perhaps there are no real surprises but the careful uncovering of layers of deceipt and mistrust is very real and honestly played out in this highly emotional and sentimental movie. I highly reccommend this film to all who enjoy good movie making.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Mentyl, July 20 2003
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Ce commentaire est de: Nuts (DVD)
Ah Babs has picked a good one here. No one wants to give her any credit for this role but she deserves it. Yes this is a full on melodrama, but some of us are not that impressed with gritty docu style reality. This is the movies folks and Babs delivers a first rate Hollywood performance. It may get over the top in parts, and yes the casting of Leslie Nielson is a bit hard to take, still NUTS never sinks into self parody (though many wished it had).
I often wonder what people would think of Babs in Nuts if she was a new actress and this was her first film. You can be sure she would have got the nomination everyone says she was salivating for.
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