Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Prizzi's Honor (1985) (2nd time)

A professional hit man and a hit woman fall in love, only to discover that they have each been hired to kill the other. [imdb] This is the imdb plot; the subject is actually more complicated.

Nominated for 8 Oscars:

Best Picture
Best Director: John Huston
Best Actor: Jack Nicholson
Best Supporting Actor: William Hickey
Best Supporting Actress: Anjelica Huston (WINNER)
Best Adapted Screenplay
Best Costume Design
Best Editing

I don't think I've ever seen Jack Nicholson give such an AWFUL performance; why didn't I remember it the first time?! It's not just that he's too old for the part, but... he has no idea what he's doing! His face expressions are ridiculous and he's usually so good with comedy. All those critics awards he's won for this... what were they thinking?! I'm starting to understand why William Hurt won Best Actor that year; such a weak category.
Surprisingly enough, the acting was generally disappointing, with one exception: William Hickey does an excellent job as the head of the Prizzi Family - he's perfectly cast and very good, in a difficult comedic role. He probably deserved to win. The director's daughter, Anjelica Huston, a much lesser-known actress back then, won the Oscar as a tricky mafia daughter. The win is totally undeserving; you can see the lack of experience all through the performance; and when you think she won over brilliant Oprah Winfrey in The Color Purple...
The film has its bad parts, mostly involving Jack Nicholson's flirting scenes from the beginning; I'm not kidding, he's THAT bad. Kathleen Turner is mediocre and the first half just doesn't work. But the second part... something delicious about it: the dark humour takes over and the last 30 minutes are energetic & very interesting.
My rating for the film: 7.5/10. I'm mostly being generous, it probably deserves less.

1 comment:

  1. For years when ever this movie comes up I talk about how awful Nicholson was in this movie. It's like a bad SNL skit. He is so miscast and just embarassing. How did he get nominated for this?