Reviewed byeagle_owlVote: 9/10/10
Jack Nicholson stars as a Warren Schmidt, a man who suffers severalcrises at once. First he goes into retirement, then his wife dies, andfinally his daughter marries a no-hoper. Forced to abandon his usualcomfortable routine, Schmidt goes on a personal journey of discoveryand tries to make some sense of his life.
The beauty of About Schmidt is how well developed and interesting thecharacters are. They feel like real people struggling with realsituations, which is a surprisingly difficult trick to pull off. Thissuccess can be attributed to the strength of the script and mostimportantly to the uniformly superb acting.
This film provides a showcase for Nicholson to display his talent, andhe doesn't disappoint, delivering a superb and multi-layered turn,which is a world away from the smirking characters he often plays. Heallows his face to droop, and adopts a world-weary expression, asSchmidt continually finds himself at the mercy of events.
One of Schmidt's first decisions when he determines to get out of therut he finds himself in is to sponsor an African child. This doesn'thave much to do with the rest of the plot, but provides an outlet forSchmidt's innermost thoughts, and is a brilliant and original way ofallowing the audience inside the head of the central character.
About Schmidt succeeds in tackling the subject of old age, a topic notoften addressed in mainstream Hollywood fare, and for that it should beapplauded. This is a terrific film, which features Nicholson at hisbest.
Reviewed byAna_BananaVote: 9/10/10
This film must be watched very carefully. If you're not paying enoughattention to it, you would miss it (some did). It's in the frames, theatmosphere, the tiny details, the situations, the acting, everything.But it's not that obvious, unless you enter that world. Simple story?Sure. Life is simple. So is great art. All in all, "About Schmidt" is areally great film. Bitter humor, all-pervading lie, the infinitesadness of loneliness and failure, sincere egoism, everyday dullness,desperate and quiet hope - this is life, and in a non-blatant, normelodramatic manner. But you're going to weep (and smile) at the ending(I did!). And one more question: is The Mulholland Man the greatestactor ever or not?
Reviewed byalexkolokotronisVote: 9/10/10
Of course we would hope that is not the case but watching a movie likethis certainly puts the idea of life into question. This is a funnymovie but looking back its probably not quite the kind of jokes youappreciate laughing at.
In the lead role as Warren Schmidt is none other then Jack Nicholson,with an already astute résumé, only further strengthens his long careerwith his subtle and charming performance. The charm never wears offwith the audience as Schmidt's morals and interest for the most partstay in place in his heart and mind. Unfortunately in the tale ofSchmidt in the film not only does his charm wear off but he is seen asa liability by those who he thought of as his loved ones. His lifetakes this crash when he retires from his career and an insuranceagent. Soon after he realizes he may have wasted his entire life away.The downward spiral of his life and his sense of purpose hangs on thethread of a boy he has never even met.
As subtle as Nicholson's performance is, so is the writing. It isquietly very witty which almost inconspicuously gives off a whole lotof cynicism. Along with Alexander Payne writing the screenplay hedirected the film as well. The movie is certainly not all style and whyshould it be when that could possibly be the only thing that couldreally hurt this film. The film is about humanity in a raw and complexway, sometimes the best method of showing this is through simplicity tothe point where you are almost certain there is something else thatlies behind the curtain of it all.
There is no doubt I would recommend this film but don't expect a purecomedy. Instead try and take a fresh and real look at the entire movieand the events that take place. Depending on who you are, you may findcertain points of this movie to be either sorrowful and dejected orslightly uplifting and optimistic. Just don't make a heartless joke ofit, because none of us want to think of our life as that; a joke.
Warren Schmidt has led a safe, predictable life working in the insurance industry in Omaha, Nebr. for many years, yet now faces retirement. At the same time he is forced to take a hard look at his wife, his life and his relationship with his estranged daughter. An often hilarious series of events follow as Schmidt embarks on an unpredictable RV journey to attend his daughter's wedding in Denver.