sun 09/08/2020

Five Easy Pieces | reviews, news & interviews

Five Easy Pieces

Five Easy Pieces

The Rafelson/Nicholson classic gets a 40th-anniversary re-airing

'Ya know if ya wouldn’t open your mouth, everything would be just fine': Jack Nicholson charms Karen Black in 'Five Easy Pieces'

Five Easy Pieces is the nominal sibling to Easy Rider, which put Jack Nicholson a step from stardom in 1969. But Pieces, this 40th-anniversary reissue reminds you, was a very different film. The soundtrack is Patsy Cline, not Steppenwolf, and we first see Nicholson working in a hard hat, the music and garb of pro-‘Nam hippie-bashers in 1970. But the cultural action is mostly in Nicholson himself, and the simmering storm of dissatisfaction and high intelligence in his odd-angled, lean face, not often inclined here to split into that trademark super-smile.

It’s the same old riff of young American men who feel they’re free spirits with the keys to the kingdom, if only chicks and responsibilities wouldn’t drag them back

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