Love and scandal are the best sweeteners of tea. —Henry Fielding

28 February 2012

The Briefest of Reviews from 1970

Wow. This is a really weird picture. Paul Newman took over as director for this movie mid-shoot after five weeks. The film is based on the novel by Ken Kesey. It's a sort of father-son, brother-brother narrative. But... well it didn't really work for me. The direction is odd – lots of shots of machinery working at cutting down trees, and the emotional payoff just isn't there. Also: Newman is in the movie and (as we all know) he is pretty much a genius, but he hasn't put himself in the movie enough. He has generously paid much more attention to his costars, and so the movie is more about Henry Fonda, Michael Sarrazin, Richard Jaeckel, and Lee Remick. And Newman can't save the film from the insularity on which it trades. I didn't identify with the guys a bit.