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But Nick Nolte’s performance in this film is its central revelation. Now 70 years old, Nolte gathers together every sad detail of a man who has wasted most of his life on drink, and driven away everyone who ever might have loved him and lightened the burdens of an isolated old age. Over the course of a 40-year career, this actor has often been excellent; and in recent years he has been nominated twice for Academy Awards (for Affliction and The Prince of Tides). There may finally be a win in his future, because in playing a weary man worn down by all the wrong turns his life has taken, he has probably never been better.
Kurt Loder is a writer living in New York. His third book, a collection of film reviews called The Good, the Bad and the Godawful, will be out on November 8th from St. Martin’s Press. Follow him on Twitter at kurt_loder.
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