Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.5.
USA, 1991. TriStar Pictures, Columbia Pictures Corporation. Screenplay by Richard LaGravenese. Cinematography by Roger Pratt. Produced by Debra Hill, Lynda Obst. Music by George Fenton. Production Design by Mel Bourne. Costume Design by Beatrix Aruna Pasztor. Film Editing by Lesley Walker.
Jeff Bridges plays a talk radio host who is devastated when a listener misinterprets his advice and commits a heinous crime in a New York City restaurant. Quitting his job and in the midst of trying to quit his life, Bridges takes to the streets and meets a free spirited homeless man (Robin Williams) who helps put him on the road to recovery. The real treat in Richard LaGravenese’s oddball script is the characters, and while director Terry Gilliam gets a lot of juicy visual work out of the story, it’s the fact that all the people are believably real that really sells this one. Mercedes Ruehl is particularly astonishing as Bridges’ worn out girlfriend, a woman from whom too many have taken too much, and Amanda Plummer is delightful as a girl that catches Williams’ eye.
The Criterion Collection: #764
Academy Award: Best Supporting Actress (Mercedes Ruehl)
Nominations: Best Actor (Robin Williams); Best Original Screenplay; Best Art Direction; Best Original Score
Golden Globe Awards: Best Actor-Musical/Comedy (Robin Williams); Best Supporting Actress (Mercedes Ruehl)
Nominations: Best Picture-Musical/Comedy; Best Actor-Musical/Comedy (Jeff Bridges); Best Director (Terry Gilliam)
Toronto International Film Festival: 1991