djross wrote:On Saturday, Jack Nicholson will turn 80. No actor has embodied a spirit of freedom, individuality, intelligence, romance, vulnerability, culture and charm in quite the way he did, both in art and in life, and in particular in the remarkable series of performances he gave between 1970 and 1975
Here here! Nicholson is a kind of walking legend - an entire era of film, film history, and film craft living and breathing as a real person, putzing around somewhere in Los Angeles, intimidating local residents with a wink and a smile. It is a tall order to arrive at a persona so ubiquitous. It's such a unique position, I don't necessarily blame him for embodying the stereotype his mid-career films only alluded to (who else could do what he did in The Departed
and make it seem so natural? We don't question a thing.)
I'll always remember his smiling Joker on the back of the VHS tape for Batman
, giving me nightmares in my toddler years I'm still recovering from as an adult. That's cinematic authority. I'm now enjoying going back to his lesser-known work (like The Shooting/Ride in the Whirlwind
) and seeing even then there's a nuance of generosity evident even in smallish roles.