Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB. USA, 1995. Miramax. Screenplay by Sean Penn. Cinematography by Vilmos Zsigmond. Produced by David Hamburger, Sean Penn. Music by Jack Nitzsche. Production Design by Michael D. Haller. Costume Design by Jill M. Ohanneson. Film Editing by Jay Cassidy. Golden Globe Awards 1995. Independent Spirit Awards 1995. Toronto International Film Festival 1995.
Powerful drama from director Sean Penn about a grieving father (Jack Nicholson) who is caught in a moral dilemma when the man responsible for his daughter’s death (David Morse) in a drunk driving accident is about to be released from jail. Anjelica Huston is fantastic as Nicholson’s ex-wife, who was driven away from her husband by their inability to communicate through their grief, and there’s also a small but effective performance by Robin Wright (Penn’s wife) as Morse’s kindhearted girlfriend. Excellent character work, sometimes at the cost of the plot’s forward movement, but powerful nonetheless.