The Assassination of Richard Nixon Reviews
"I am but a grain of sand. The meek shall not inherit the earth. The earth belongs to the bullies who do not care how they get to the top."A film inspired by a true story about the life of an ordinary man who plotted to kill Nixon.Another one of those sad stories of a person channeling his lifes frustration and dissillusionment from the government and the country he loves, to a specific individual.Sean Penns acting is always something to see, the script was moderately smart, but I guess this just isnt my cup of tea. It just felt flat out, dreary and dry. I was waiting for a the big breakthrough in the pacing of the film but no big drama ever came out of it, it never happened, and Im left hangging. I never even cried throughout the movie!Seriously not recommended.If you want to see Sean Penn in a tear jerking drama you're better off watching I am Sam.Genre: Biography, Crime & DramaDirector: Niels MuellerRated R
Sam Bicke (Sean Penn) is a salesman for an office-supply company whose life is slowly beginning to unravel. Bicke's job is going nowhere, his wife, Marie (Naomi Watts), has left him, and his boss (Jack Thompson) keeps pushing self-help books on him that make a mockery of his state of mind. One of Bicke's few friends is Bonny Simmons (Don Cheadle), an auto mechanic, and together they come up with an idea for a tire shop on wheels; while neither has the money to finance the project, Bicke has learned of a program for small-business loans instituted by President Richard Nixon, which he's certain will come through for him. But Bicke is denied his loan, which dovetails with his increasing suspicion of the president's Vietnam policies and a sudden interest in the "by any means necessary" political activism of the Black Panther Party. Desperate to seem important in some way, Bicke becomes increasingly obsessed with the duplicity of Richard Nixon, until he chooses to take it upon himself to stop the president once and for all.
A collaboration based upon true events, this film delivers such exquisite performance in every aspect providing lasting impact. One man's failure on a personal level is played out with such emotion and sadness in equal measure against a backdrop of propaganda and deceit, utilised by a country and it's leader. The duality of both personal and professional failure hit home hard and show exactly how lost and hopeless someone can feel when everything he believes in falls apart. Superb dialogue and character driven there is not one weak performance here. You genuinely appreciate both the narrative and visuals from footage of 'Nixon' brainwashing a nation, to the impact this has on a man being driven mad by his own perception of failure to be a success. The addition of 'Leonard Bernstein's' music, as a quality loved is inspired and poetic providing both pathos and sentiment in equal part. The absolute star element of this film is Sean Penn however. His tragic portrayal of a man loosing all faith and hope is truly inspired and up there with any acting achievement seen within the past few years. You cannot fail to be moved by his collapse and loss of dignity that provides an everlasting impression as he free falls into despair. This is a must see for all who want their experience of Cinema to mean something and stay with them.
[font=Century Gothic][color=darkred]"The Woodsman" is a movie about a child molester(played by Kevin Bacon, who is excellent) released from jail after twelve years, seeking to start a new life in Philadelphia. The central dilemma in the movie is posed the by the lead character when he asks: "When will I be alright?" The movie to its credit does not seek to give any easy answers to this question or seeks to cure the character. The most interesting thing about Bacon's character is revealed in a moment when he is talking with a 12 year old girl - it is the only point in the film when he is relaxed and at ease.[/color][/font]
[font=Century Gothic][color=sienna]While at the other end of the commonwealth in 1974 in "The Assassination of Richard of Nixon", Sean Penn plays Sam Bicke, a failed salesman who is in the middle of a new job as an office furniture salesman and in the middle of a disintegrating marriage.(Throughout the film, Bicke is in a constant state of denial and is constantly seeking to be reconciled in his marriage. But in one scene, he is flirting with an attractive customer and refers to his 'ex-wife'.) Sean Penn is extremely good but there is very little relief from this unpleasant character and at times, the movie feels like it is going to fall into a very prolonged Saturday Night Live sketch.(I couldn't think of anything worse to say.) What's interesting is to compare Bicke's breakdown to the same one that Nixon was supposedly undergoing in the White House at the same time. The movie's whole point seems to be success can only be gained when working with others.[/color][/font]
The film shows archive footage of Nixon on television but Nixon is rarely important. Bicke is the main character so it's pretty much a character study of what it was like to live in his shoes...Bicke had a strong hatred of the society and the American system and then finally blaming all of his problems on Richard Nixon. He's going through a divorce, he wants to join and help the Black Panther Party, Bicke can't get a loan on a business he wants to start up, he's heading on a downward spiral that made me cringe and finally decides to end all of his problems by hiijacking an airliner and raming it right into the White House.
For an independent picture it's great. Niels Mueller and his crew do a fine job of recreating the 70's period. I'm sure Mueller probably watched "Taxi Driver" before shooting this film because there are scenes where Penn's character Bicke echoes Bickle, even right down to straping his gun down to his leg. This picture is not for everybody but as a character study it's somewhat mesmerizing.