Every film that has ever been nominated for an Academy Award in any category. Enjoy!
Everyone needs to be loved - sometime or another.
The concurrent sexual lives of best friends Jonathan and Sandy are presented, those lives which are affected by the sexual mores of the time and their own temperament, especially in relation to the respective women who end up in their lives.
I must confess: I don't much like Jack Nicholson. Well, his movies/acting, I suppose. I always have to be convinced to like them as I watch them, rather than going into them with the expectation of enjoyment. Knowing he is in a film makes me skeptical about it. In this particular film, his performance is neither distractingly hammy (most of his later career) nor nuanced (The Passenger), and therefore, I remained unconvinced. It's a flaw, this default prejudice, but I am trying to own it.
The film depicts two men who both treat women as objects in their own ways. Nicholson's character embodies confident misogyny while Art Garfunkel's (I know, right) character is a shy, nerdish sort. Both have unrealistic…
Well, damn, they don't really make 'em like this anymore, do they?
While the plot to this film is virtually non-existent, with the film simply spanning 25 years in the lives of two college friends with extra focus on the women that come and go in their lives - what the film tries to do is incredibly ambitious. It's not very subtle at times, but I found it fascinating to be given an insight into how these two characters look at intimacy between people, and how these feelings change over the years. The film explores difficult psychological processes in a really honest way. I thought it was extraordinary how, without hammering it home, it highlights so many different views on…
Outside of the phenomenal performances, this was pretty standard. Nichols has always been able to get great performances out of his actors. My main problem with his work is how drawn out every film of his is. His stuff begins to really drag for me around the midway point, despite of the great performances onscreen. A big problem with this was that Nichols doesn't really explore the characters. For a film that runs its course like a play, this really could have benefited from doing so. Nichols one grazes the surface of these characters. The fight scenes between characters do not have then power they need because of this. Whereas the scenes of relationship turmoil in Bergman's Scenes From a…
If Easy Rider introduced Jack to the masses and Five Easy Pieces proved he could really act, then Carnal Knowledge cemented the Jack persona for the next 40 years. I swear every line he speaks in the film is quintessential Jack. It might as well be a dramatization about his actual sex life and the self-centered asshole mentality he flaunted with such ease. And leave it to Mike Nichols to deliver still-contemporary direction. Less ahead of its time and more a long-lasting style of storytelling that adapts over time. Like a fine wine, the narrative techniques haven't aged. If you made the film today, set it in 1971 but kept Nichols' same approach, it would still feel fresh.
Mike Nichols' candid and provocative exploration of the romantic relationships pursued by two best friends (Jack Nicholson and Art Garfunkel), spanning over twenty five years from college to middle age, proved controversial upon its release due to its frank and vivid discussion of sex and the ways men and women struggle to co-exist in harmony. Alternately funny, touching, cynical and vicious, the film still proves highly perceptive and startlingly forthright, presenting a sobering view of the often incongruous attitudes the genders thrust upon one another in relationships, and in particular the power dynamics that evolve based on an unequal division of lust and feeling, gratification and dependence. Nicholson is fiercely wolfish as the impertinent Jonathan, whose relentless pursuit of transient…
look at these assholes.
just all around great. amazingly paced and honestly acted
“Time is in fact what this film is about, I don’t think it’s sex and I certainly don’t think it’s love. I think it’s time and the way that time has of finding out who you are.” - Mike Nichols
I went into this film knowing nothing and within the first half of the first act, assumptions were made. This was to be a film about love, and the way it would affect this polarized pair of friends throughout their lives.
As you're probably able to tell from that quote, I was wrong, and proven to be wrong by the time the film came to a close. Assumptions, making asses of you and me, whatever, whatever.
I was happy with how gritty this film was. I feel like it's become extremely dated when detailing the various sexist remarks, but I found it to generally be a good film, all the same.
Mike Nichols was quite a director, wasn't he?
The saddest reflection of the human condition that I've ever seen via film--even more sad than Blue Valentine. Both of the movies present a reality contained within the mundane. But I've been turned off of the concept of greatness within Blue Valentine conceptually over time because of its insistence on taking a stance. That's not to say that stances aren't ok--nor is it to necessarily say that I don't align with that stance quite a bit myself in reality anyway. But what it is to say, and more so about Carnal Knowledge here, is that I've taken an even greater stance of duality over time, ESPECIALLY when it comes to love. The film refuses to accept that taking a side…
Watching candace Bergen laugh without any restraint may be be of my favorite film moments in 2015.
Wake Up Little Susie
Nichols seemed to be in a state of bewilderment when he filmed Carnal Knowledge . The film had to succeed on a few different levels: the characters must seem genuine, we must be invested in the melodrama, but most importantly, Nichols must condemn the male characters' (especially Nicholson's) atrociously superficial and manipulative behavior. What ensues is a balancing act where some of the dishes come clattering and shattering down against the ground.
At least the performances all feel genuine. Nicholson's character has layers; at a glance he's a hopeless sex-obsessed chauvinist. But when he has intimate moments with women, we're given a glimpse into his more sensitive side. And the most inner layer is exposed when he's alone, exemplifying a…
There's a temptation to think of this as a JUST story about sex without relationships, about how men are obsessed with sex their whole lives, how they objectify women (especially in 1971), how they are self-centered misogynists, etc. And all of that is true. It's in there. But because of that, this struck me, watching now as an adult in 2015, as a story also about how that behavior effects women and what they must endure in the name of love. The woman in this movie are strong and come across as much more sympathetic than the men. There are several juicy roles... for Candice Bergen, Ann-Margret, and Rita Moreno whose scene at the end brings home the point. Women rule, men drool.
Sandy (Art Garfunkel), Jonathan (Jack Nicholson), and Susan (Candice Bergen) are some very mature-looking college students when they meet at a mixer in this Mike Nichols film. Sandy and Susan begin dating but she sees Jonathan on the side unbeknownst to Sandy. The movie follows Jonathan and Sandy through their lives as they move from one romantic attachment to another. Nicholson marries Bobbie (Oscar-nominated Ann-Margret) who bravely bares it all. Sandy eventually winds up with Jennifer (Carol Kane). The script is by Jules Pfeiffer and much of the dialogue and behavior in the college setting is badly dated today. The movie ends with a memorable scene involving Rita Moreno, showing the hollowness of Jonathan’s juvenile and self-centered approach to relationships. It’s a shadow of The Swimmer perhaps.
[after his parents have left, thinking he is ill] "They bought it. Incredible! One of the worst performances of my…
This list is the Letterboxd version of The Oxford History of World Cinema.
The book celebrates and chronicles over one…