Cincinnati Babyhead

Speaks his mind on music & movies!

Movie : Affliction

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A small northern US town in the middle of winter. It’s deer hunting season. The local cop/road plow driver/ crossing guard (Wade) is struggling to keep it together both with his job and personal life. A hunting accident occurs which our local cop thinks was a murder. He starts to turn up all sorts of evidence that makes him believe his hunch. Corruption, small town goings on and a family past that reveals the outcome of physical and mental abuse. Is our local cop onto something or is his mental state taking him over the edge?

Paul Schrader takes the Russel Banks novel and brings it to life with a really good film. Not going to win any good feeling award. He puts us in the middle of this town in winter time and we feel every bit of the season. You want to bundle up just watching it. Like all good directors he tells the story with the camera using everything at his disposal, location, environment, script and some very good performances.

I love films with lots of great supporting roles and this one has many. Not a wasted character. You believe these people know each other. There’s lots of history in a small town and that comes across from the performances. So much good work. Sissy Spacek as Wade’s girlfriend is as real as you can get. Willem Dafoe also contributes.

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The performances that really push the film to what CB likes come from James Coburn and Nick Nolte. Probably the most messed up father/son relationship in film. Coburn’s Glen Whitehouse is just a nasty, mean, drunk, abusive, violent prick.  I loved every second of his screen time. What a good piece of work by James. Hats off to take a role like this and commit to it.

That brings us to Nolte as Wade Whitehouse the son of Glen and one of the results of his fucked up parenting. Nolte balances what’s left of Wade’s sanity against the heavy pull and conditioning of growing up under his dad’s influence. It’s a stacked deck against him. We watch Nolte’s Wade stumble around trying to juggle all the balls in his life. He just doesn’t have the tools. Is it just me or is Nick Nolte one of the best when given good material like this.  Real good performance. Along with his other jobs in the film Nick also finds time to do a little self dentistry.

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I really like films like this. Lots going on with all sorts of side bars but it never lost me. The film kept me engaged. A little murder mystery, dirty business with a whole lot of messed up shit going on.

“Jesus freaks and candy asses. That’s what I got for children”

 

 

29 comments on “Movie : Affliction

  1. deKE
    July 26, 2020

    I watched the trailer you posted CB. I will need to watch this one as I don’t recall ever seeing it.
    I will do this once I’m finished watching the Bourne series.
    Great stuff fella!
    Stay safe.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      July 26, 2020

      Obviously I like it deKE. Coburn is some kind of nasty. I have a feeling they filmed it up in our country. It’s not without a little humor.
      I think the only Bourne I missed was the last one. Those series start to run into each other in my small brain. They are well done. I’ve been checking up on ya . I guess I should say hello when I do.

      Like

  2. Jim S.
    July 26, 2020

    Oh yeah, I remember this one. My fellow film buff Bill and I saw this when it came out. First thing I thought of was that dental scene, toughest one to watch since ‘Marathon Man.’ Coburn and Nolte are first-rate. I don’t feel like such a shitty parent after I see their relationship. I gotta admit I don’t know how actors get to that place. Do they have these intense ‘fuck you’ scenes, say ‘cut’, laugh, and go have a beer? I don’t get it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      July 26, 2020

      Thing that is scary Doc, is how real and believable Cobern was. What a great asshole. Yeah some actors can pop in and out but some stay in character and torture themselves and others. I would guess it was pretty intense shooting some of those scenes. Thing is, Nolte coudnt intimidate James to much. Great work by both.

      Like

  3. Yeah, Another Blogger
    July 26, 2020

    You know, I can’t remember for sure if I saw this one or not. I think I did. We’ve been watching the Perry Mason series in HBO. It’s absolutely nothing like the old PM show. We like it a lot.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      July 26, 2020

      It’s not a nice episode of “Life With Father’
      I herd the the new PM was good. Soon as you mentioned it,, the old theme music came into my head. I was watching an old noir and the original prosecutor from the tv show was the heavy. He was very good. (Been over to visit. You taking a break?)

      Liked by 1 person

  4. BuriedOnMars
    July 26, 2020

    I don’t remember if I have seen this one or not. I think I probably thought about reading the book first and never got around to it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      July 26, 2020

      Both are worth the time in my “book”. I guess it’s time I shook things up and watched a comedy.

      Liked by 1 person

      • BuriedOnMars
        July 27, 2020

        I’ll see if the ebook is available at the library. Already did that earlier this month with The Mosquito Coast. Book is excellent. The movie is meh. I am interested to see which comedy you pick!

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        July 27, 2020

        Sometimes the case with films developed from books. This was< I think does a good job.
        I was thinking Chainsaw Massacre for some light entertainment.

        Liked by 1 person

      • BuriedOnMars
        July 27, 2020

        Well, that is a little bit of a different kind of comedy.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. hotfox63
    July 27, 2020

    Small town family drama in a snow-covered landscape. I saw this about twenty years ago. Paul Schrader is a good director, but I like him even more as a screenwriter (“Taxi Driver”, “The Raging Bull”).

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      July 27, 2020

      Good for a rewatch Fox. I agree on the screenwriter thing. I like this the best of his director outings.

      Liked by 2 people

      • hotfox63
        July 27, 2020

        Thanks for the reminder, CB! I put this on my rewatching list.

        Liked by 2 people

  6. the press music reviews
    July 29, 2020

    Enjoyed the trailer. Must see this cause I love Nick Nolte.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. badfinger20 (Max)
    July 31, 2020

    It sounds like a great character driven atmospheric film. You haven’t steered me wrong…I’ll put it in line for next week. I’ve always liked Nolte.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      July 31, 2020

      Hey, all the takes I do, I’m just passing on films (music) that I dig and if others dig them also, Great. Thanks Max. Nick can be very good and he’s that in this.

      Liked by 1 person

      • badfinger20 (Max)
        July 31, 2020

        I like suggestions…especially on ones that are not well known so it works out.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. msjadeli
    July 31, 2020

    Looks good. James Colburn always livens things up. He reminds me a little of Bruce Dern these days. Agreed that Nolte shines when given peach roles. I’m sure I’ll be able to connect with the “instability” that a long winter brings.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      July 31, 2020

      Oh yeah TT. This is a good dark tale (not with out some dark humor). Based on a great story by Banks. Nolte and Coburn shine with a great supporting cast. Truthful and real.
      (Bruce Dern. Another CB hall of famer)

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Francisco Bravo Cabrera
    August 2, 2020

    Hmm…sounds like a good one CB, I will look for it tonight on Netflix…Take good care CB and all the best!
    Francisco

    Liked by 1 person

  10. PatrickWhy
    August 7, 2020

    Excellent movie version of an excellent book. Banks’ stuff can be a little heavy, but I’ve always enjoyed reading him. We read Rule of the Bone in high school and I have been a fan since. I liked The Sweet Hereafter, too, but I can’t remember if the movie stood up.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      August 7, 2020

      Thanks for stopping by. This film is “excellent”. ‘Rule of the Bone’ in school. How cool is that. Havent seen ‘Hereafter’. I’m rereading his books chronologically. ‘Cloudsplitter’ is one I really dig. I love all that old history and Banks does his homework.

      Like

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