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…”