Everybody Wins

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I can't quite remember why I put this in my Blockbuster queue many months ago, but it finally worked its way to the top. It was made in 1990, with an array of talent: Nick Nolte and Debra Winger in the lead roles, an Arthur Miller screenplay, Karel Reisz directing.

It is ostensibly a private eye movie, with Nolte playing Tom O'Toole, investigating a murder in the mean New England streets of "Highbury" (actually Norwich, Connecticut), trying to get an innocent man out of jail at the behest of Angela (played by Ms. Winger), a mysterious woman who hires him.

That all sounds real promising, but it falls apart pretty quickly. The dialog is stilted, delivered woodenly. (Winger and some other characters have some loopy dialog, but Arthur Miller didn't really have an ear for loopy dialog; it sounds as if it were translated to Urdu and back.) Nothing makes a lot of sense; potentially interesting incidents are kept off-screen, and we're only told about them later.

Nick Nolte also has an inexplicably dippy haircut that might have been fashionable during the second week of March, 1967. In Topeka.

The ending is meant to be cynical. Wish someone would have said "Forget it, Tom. It's Highbury."


Last Modified 2012-10-22 6:25 AM EST