Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBBB
USA, 1997. TriStar Pictures, Gracie Films. Story by Mark Andrus, Screenplay by James L. Brooks, Mark Andrus. Cinematography by John Bailey. Produced by James L. Brooks, Bridget Johnson, Kristi Zea. Music by Hans Zimmer. Production Design by Bill Brzeski. Costume Design by Molly Maginnis. Film Editing by Richard Marks.
Jack Nicholson is an anti-everything curmudgeon who finds a kindred spirit in emotionally battered waitress Helen Hunt; Greg Kinnear is a lonely painter in Nicholson’s building who is befriended by both after being viciously attacked by robbers in his home. The three of them go on a road trip to find Kinnear’s parents so he can ask them for financial help and along the way, they find something so much better: each other.
This beautifully written, skilfully acted character study is about lonely people who find life worth living simply by being together, and James L. Brooks’ sensitive directorial touch backs each of them up every step of the way.
Hunt has never been more compelling, Kinnear shows more talent than in any of his previous films put together and Nicholson shines despite the fact that the role is dressed up to be much more edgy than it actually is (oh he throws away soap and is mean to waitresses, what a blight on humanity).
Academy Awards: Best Actor (Jack Nicholson); Best Actress (Helen Hunt)
Nominations: Best Picture; Best Supporting Actor (Greg Kinnear); Best Original Screenplay; Best Film Editing; Best Original Score-Musical/Comedy
Golden Globe Awards: Best Picture-Musical/Comedy; Best Actor-Musical/Comedy (Jack Nicholson); Best Actress-Musical/Comedy (Helen Hunt)
Nominations: Best Supporting Actor (Greg Kinnear); Best Director (James L. Brooks); Best Screenplay
Screen Actors Guild Awards: Best Actor (Jack Nicholson); Best Actress (Helen Hunt)
Nomination: Best Supporting Actor (Greg Kinnear)