Starring: Jack Nicholson, Hope Davis, Dermott Mulroney, Kathy Bates
Ok I know that i have been very, very quiet on this blog of late but a little thing called a wedding has rather monopolised my time….anyhow….
When it opened in 2002, about Schmidt garnered rave reviews and two Oscar nominations for Jack Nicholson and Kathy Bates, as well as a golden globe win for Nicholson himself. The movie centers on Nicholson’s character, Warren Schmidt who decides to re-evaluate his life after retiring and losing his wife suddenly to a brain aneurysm. Fearing death and feeling that he needs to make the most of what is left of his life, he decides to travel cross country in his Winnebago in order to stop his daughter getting married. The story is told in narrative style in the form of letters Warren writes to his sponsor child in Tanzania.
The beauty of this movie lies, not in the storyline, which I found rather pedestrian, but in its characters, especially the performances of Nicholson and Bates. Nicholson has taken what is a rather unlikeable character and actually made me feel for him at the end as he mourns a life wasted. Bates is amazing as Nicholson’s daughter’s mother in law, a ageing hippie with rather comfortable views on public nudity. She in fact provides the rare comic relief in what I considered to be a rather depressing but thoughtful film, and i found myself wishing that she had more screen time than what was offered.
All in all this is a rather odd film, one that can’t seem to make up its mind whether to be a comedy or a drama. It was a good way to pass the time but not a movie that i would choose to watch again.