The idea or concept of Jack Nicholson-style insouciance (i.e., that vaguely grinning, self-amused, slightly paunchy, middle-aged swagger hound attitude) didn’t really come into being until his Garrett Breedlove performance in Terms of Endearment, which opened 39 years ago.
Today the Breedlove routine would be shut down so fast that Nicholson’s head would spin. The world that half-chuckled at such antics is dead and gone.
Okay, it’s not dead and gone but people in the heady Hollywood heat of things are too terrified to admit this so it might as well be. Okay, there’s still room for “you need a lot of drinks to kill the bug that is up your ass”…that still works. Just don’t ask IndieWire‘s Anne Thompson, who served as the unit publicist for Terms. Different era.
HE to Beverly Walker: “I’m re-reading your 1985 Jack Nicholson Film Comment interview, and I’m wondering what you’re hearing, if anything, about Jack’s well-being or health or whatever. He’s 85 now, and I know he doesn’t say anything to anyone these days, largely due to diminished capacities.
“But dear God I would love to hear the old Jack weigh in on woke Stalinism and the idea that any actor or filmmaker whose personal behavior has resulted in a blemish or two needs to be expelled or at least discredited. I don’t know what he’d say exactly, but I can guess. To hear it in his own words, his own phraseology…”
HE: “Malibu is an over-crowded car community with a side order of beachside real estate. It’s arguably the most unpleasant coastal region in the civilized world.”
Overlord: “Then why go there at all. or are you a masochist?”
HE’s Own Insect Antennae: “The same reason all their hikes are through residential Hollywood. He enjoys the proximity to wealth.”
HE: “Because when you finally arrive at the mostly empty and semi-secluded El Matador, La Piedra and Leo Carillo state beaches, the effort feels worth it. For a while.
“But getting there is hell unless (a) you’re on a motorcycle or an HE-approved rumblehog or (b) you manage to avoid peak traffic by traveling between 11 pm and 6 am. Most of the time there isn’t a dime’s worth of difference between PCH and the 405. It’s basically about cars and foggy haze and the near-futility of finding a parking spot (unless you’re visiting the afore-mentioned, Trancas-area beaches) and that constant whahhh of traffic and that atmosphere of speed and aggression and predatory restaurants and the suffocating howl of it all. It just drains your soul.
“I’ve visited so many tranquil, extra-beautiful, far-from-the-madding-crowd beach areas around the world. The Florida keys, Northern California and Oregon, central Vietnam, Maine, New Jersey’s Long Beach island…yes, even New Jersey!…France’s Côte d’Azur, Marina del Campo on the island of Elba, Baja California, Cape Cod, San Blas, the Spanish coast near Almeria, Placencia in Belize and Playa del Carmen and Cozumel in Mexico.
“I’m sorry but alongside these havens the Malibu region is nothing to cherish or speak fondly of.
“It’s one thing if you own a nice canyon home or cliffside spread or if you’re jogging along the track at Pepperdine U., but otherwise ‘later.'” — from “Paradise Cove Overchqrge,” posted on 12.1.19.
- All Hail Tom White, Taciturn Hero of “Killers of the Flower Moon”
Roughly two months ago a very early draft of Eric Roth‘s screenplay for Killers of the Flower Moon (dated 2.20.17,...More »