Five Easy Pieces

Opens in May

Director: Bob Rafelson Run Time: 98 min. Format: Digital Rating: R Release Year: 1970

Starring: Jack Nicholson, Karen Black, Lois Smith, Ralph Waite, Susan Anspach

Disaffected,¬†hard-drinking oil rigger Bobby Dupea (Nicholson) is not what he appears at first sight: Born into a patrician clan from Puget Sound, Bobby has turned his back on bourgeois comforts and a promising career as a classical pianist for life on the road with dim-witted girlfriend Rayette (Black). Bobby’s drawn back into the family fold, however, when he learns that his father Nicholas (William Challee) is dying.

One of the definitive,¬†highly acclaimed films of the early-70’s New American Cinema, Bob Rafelson’s edgy, deep character study features complex and courageous performances from both Nicholson and Black. As an existentially pained outcast of upper-middle-class breeding, Jack’s pent-up Bobby is especially absorbing to watch, as he denigrates Rayette’s crass singing efforts or spars with a waitress over the vagaries of a chicken-salad sandwich. A moody portrait of alienation and unresolved pain, Rafelson’s Oscar-nominated “Pieces” will stick with you.

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