Jack Nicholson has delivered the most subtle performances of his career working with Bob Rafelson, and he’s the model of restraint here as depressive radio talk show host David playing against Dern’s motor mouth con artist Jason. They appear as brothers reunited in Atlantic City, where Jason has dragged David in an attempt to bring him in on his latest real estate scam.
Ellen Burstyn is terrific as Jason’s bitter aging beauty-queen girlfriend, László Kovács’ crafted cinematography exploits the eeriness surrounding the unfinished casino hotels, and the film amounts to a poetic and piercing critique of the American Dream.
Screening as part of Bruce Dern Season (December 14th – 22nd).
Bruce Dern’s latest feature, Nebraska, directed by Alexander Payne, is opening on December 6th.