Directed by Milos Forman
Nominated for 9 Oscars, Won 5
Up Against: Barry Lyndon, Dog Day Afternoon, Jaws, Nashville
When R.P McMurphy arrives at this mental institution, things start changing around there. While many believe McMurphy is faking his mental inability so he doesn't have to work, he starts to wreak havoc in the ward, gathering the patients together and slowly earning their trust, and getting them to rebel against the head nurse, Nurse Ratched, who's a little more than oppressive to the patients.
This film was just all Jack Nicholson for me. I found the story to be a little bland, but found Nicholson very captivating. He was totally inside the character of McMurphy and you could really tell. He was crazy, yet you pitied him, and wondered why he was there at all, and then sometimes you knew exactly why. He's a complicated character and you wondered how it was all going to end. Would they release him? What would happen if they didn't? But the ending we get is truly disturbing, and it really made the movie for me.
And then there's Louise Fletcher who plays Nurse Ratched, and won Best Actress. She was so convincing as the dictator of the ward, and oppressor of the patients. She was mean, and cold, and heartless. And Louise Fletcher just nailed her.
The mix of these characters made for an interesting story of uprising, and of the ward's ways of dealing with patients who don't obey the rules.
While I wouldn't go so far to say as I loved this film, I would say it was definitely a performance film rather than a story film. While I felt the story was a bit bland, all the performances in the film made up for that. It was extremely well acted, giving Jack Nicholson his very first Oscar (who would go on to be the most nominated actor, and to win 2 other Oscars). This film was good, and definitely deserved the Best Picture win from the acting alone. But would I watch it again? Probably not.
Music- 7/10 Emotional Connection- 7.5/10
Overall Enjoyment- 7.5/10
Overall Package- 8/10