Nuts - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Nuts Reviews

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November 27, 2017
Friday, September 9, 2011

(1987) Nuts

Originally a play before being adapted into a film written by Tom Topor who also provided the screenplay about a self- employed escort (Barbara Steisand) being tried for an insanity plea for killing one of her clients! While the prosecutors are trying to keep her there, she's trying to prove that she is fit to stand trial since she is so confident she can clearly win at beating these charges in the first degree by first claiming it was self defense, but in order to do that she has to beat the insanity conviction from both her parents and the shrink. Richard Dreyfuss, entertaining as always as Aaron Levinsky working as 'Legal Aid' appointed by the State to represent and defend her charge of pleading insanity. The only fault is the character played by Streisand who her character appear to be annoying.

Although, I've this film before, seeing this film again made me realize how annoying and obnoxious the Barbara Steisand character can really be, but the story with the direction from Martin Ritt did a fine job handling it!

2.5 out of 4
September 4, 2017
Every scene captures your complete attention; very enjoyable stimulating dialogue. And the most enjoyable part: raw, intense, and mermerazing characters.
April 9, 2015
This piece of work was all Steisand and it's a mess.
September 7, 2014
It seems to me that the problem with this movie is that it was made about 12 years too late. If what we see had been shot in 1973 to 1977 it might feel sort of "edgy" --- but, it feels almost tragically out-dated for the 1980's. That being said, this is an interesting film. Streisand delivers a solid turn in the tradition of a movie star. This is foul-mouthed melodrama. There are moments of unintended camp - such as every male in an upscale Manhattan bar turning his head to check Babs out. ...This would never happen. But, that scene aside she is believable in the role. If you are at all familiar with top escorts -- they are not all traditional raving beauties. Oddly, had another actor been cast in her role it might have made this movie an easier sell. Dreyfuss is quite effective. And, for all the predictability, this movie does offer up a solid reflection of the implications of sexual child abuse and survival. Also worth nothing that Martin Ritt did not offer up the expected 1980's easy resolution. The question of sanity is never answered. Worth a look.
May 2, 2014
Sort of disjointed and not always smooth, 'Nuts' is still a decent enough court-room charade. The two leads are fine, the film does offers a number of darkly comic bites, and it's slickly directed by the late Martin Rift. However, its pacing makes for a grinder.
Super Reviewer
½ October 5, 2013
Richard Dreyfuss on fire, Leslie Nielson in a serious role and Barbra Streisand playing her part as per usual effortlessly well
½ May 30, 2013
Nuts is an excellent film. It is about a high-class call girl who is accused of murder fights for the right to stand trial rather than be declared mentally incompetent. Barbra Streisand and Richard Dreyfuss give incredible performances. The screenplay is well written. Martin Ritt did a great job directing this movie. I enjoyed watching this motion picture because of the drama. Nuts is a must see.
April 11, 2013
Streisand produced, developed the script, and composed most of the music for this showpiece, and her efforts, as usual, pay off, above all in her angry and lively performance.
December 1, 2012
This is one of my favorite movies. I enjoy the acting. I think that the movie is funny at times, and serious at other times. I truely enjoyed this movie and I have seen it over and over.
October 13, 2012
Flawed in some ways, still, beautifully acted by Dreyfuss and Streisand. Barbra has difficulty losing her mega-star identity in the role, but her lines are incredibly and carefully executed...she is pure acting. Dreyfuss over-acts at time, one of his trademarks, but he comes across as believable and sympathetic in response to a system that seems bent on hammering them both. One of my favorite Streisand moments.
September 12, 2012
Caught this on HBO last night. Very 80's but still well done
½ March 27, 2012
What seems like a bad play has been adapted into what is a bad movie. Streisand is so far miscast that her performance goes round the moon and back again to be the only interesting part of the whole debacle. It's a committed tour de farce (I do mean farce) and by the end I'd wished the film holding the performance had been equally as nuts.
February 4, 2012
This is a good movie . . . PROFESSIONAL FILM CRITICS ARE NUTS and give good movies low ratings.

Nuts offers great psychological insight into the motivations of people who are found in unpleasant circumstances.

Leslie Nilson's mother abused him and he tried to kill Barbra Streisand and Barbara Streisand's Father molested her and she became a prostitute (because being molested probably makes you feel worthless over-time and not in control of your own body and actions--abuse effects everyone differently).

At any rate Leslie Neilson's character intersected with Barbara Streisand's character and Leslie Neilson's character is murdered.

Everyone has the potential to be nuts . . . and this movie examines some of the reasons leading up to NUTTY behavior.
September 29, 2011
ok not her best but still i would want to see it
July 13, 2011
Though it's largely set in a daunting courtroom, Nuts tries to be more psychological mystery than legal dilemma, and for the better part of the way throughout, Nuts is startlingly gripping before it shamelessly tumbles into agonizing, even cringe-worthy sermonizing at the lugubrious and pedantic conclusion when Streisand serves a painfully affected monologue all in close-up. It's the household psychodrama between patient and shrink, except here a lawyer does the evaluating. Dreyfuss plays this intersection between Perry Mason and Sigmund Freud, Aaron Levinsky, court-appointed to represent Claudia Draper, a call girl who killed a john. The exhaustingly hostile Claudia longs to be tried, but the court is about to pronounce her mentally incompetent to stand trial. The judge, played with truthful and temperate keenness by James Whitmore, certainly merits that available seat on the Supreme Court. Seasoned and resolute as he is, the judge questions how this smart, well-heeled girl came to this. Her mother and stepfather, Maureen Stapleton and Karl Malden, seem to be ideal parents, and Claudia the indulged child gone strangely nutty. Levinsky, the intellect detective, prods for resolutions for this catch-22 that's quickly wearing his patience thin when he needs it most: dealing with her.

In another first-rate performance, Richard Dreyfuss plays the stunningly durable Levinsky. With infectious charm, he unearths some bleak skeletons from her cupboard, and in turn from those of Claudia's stepfather, her mother and her psychiatrist. This credentially surefire film, for awhile, seems like a plucky movie with an unpleasant lead who intractably defies bowing to the agendas, neuroses, or desires of anybody else. But by the end of Nuts, when the case has been decided, there's an unshakable sentiment of tackiness, that the antagonists were trumped-up sitting ducks the script contrives to be taken lying down. If all of psychiatry had been this undemanding, Freud wouldn't have been needed to invent it. The Brothers Grimm would've already taken care it for us.

But regardless, the unraveling of those details is executed so well. At the helm of such masterpieces of delicate subtlety and sensitivity like The Spy Who Came in From the Cold, Pete 'n' Tillie and The Front, Martin Ritt is efficient with the technique of the flashback that expands step by step, showing but an instant of a past event, then a little more, then ultimately the entire event. Two distinct bathroom sequences are divulged in this manner, one surrounding Claudia as a little girl, the other her brutal confrontation with her victim. Nuts culminates like a Broadway musical, but otherwise it's an absorbing character study, cadenced like a fine thriller. Ritt has always undoubtedly been a performer's director with a predilection towards oppressed female protagonists. Sally Field's Norma Rae, Patricia Neal in Hud.

Supported by a dignified cast, Streisand and Dreyfuss pair for the first time, but they work together like practiced dancers. He spins her and she laps up the ovation. And that's not uncommon for the controlling Streisand, who characteristically holds the fort on all her projects, but whether it's Streisand or Stallone, supremacy on a movie set only achieves either profundity or chaos. Eli Wallach is entertaining arcane as the psychiatrist. Stapleton is deeply felt, if way too broad, as the feeble mother, with Malden fluently overtaking his Am Ex stamp as Claudia's stepfather. Leslie Nielsen is every prostitute's dread as the client who insists upon and gets more than has been agreed to.

In the opening scenes, we are submerged in the dark-light worlds of the robotizing single-file lines and pencil-pushing procedures of the womens' prison and the crowded, busy courtroom. Director of photography Andrzej Bartkowiak's camera-work begins us in a stark rhythm and atmosphere. But unfortunately, Nuts is below the summation of its memorable parts. Regardless of all its strong suits, it's ultimately ineffective and vain inside. No matter their cred, Ritt, Bartkowiak, screenwriter Alvin Sargent never entirely follow through with their ultimate intent, setting inner integrity against social facades to compel us to determine what it truly means to be crazy.
May 16, 2011
Awesome movie. Such excellent acting and although I had seen it a dozen times years ago, still enjoyed it again this week. Streisand and Dreyfuss are an excellent pair that are every bit as enjoyable on their own. But the two of them work well together.
Super Reviewer
½ February 8, 2011
It was slightly unbelievable for me since if I'd such a client to defend who is not willing to co-operate the least, I don't think I'd touch that case. Or else give up easily. Then again, I ain't no lawyer!!! They show her crossing the limits so many times that it becomes hard to digest it that she ain't a nut. Leaving aside this minor problem, the movie works fine as a courtroom drama.
February 5, 2011
Wounded from the start by the oddball casting of Streisand. She's not even bad in the role, but there's just so much baggage and extra knowledge that comes with her presence that it's hard to buy her as a prostitute charged with murder. Aside from that, it's not bad but not that compelling either. It's very much a personal story, which is fine but doesn't end up having much to say about mental illness or the judicial system.
January 2, 2011
Do not miss this movie
October 21, 2010
Maureen Stapleton = genius in this otherwise stupid, though strangely engrossing, film
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