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Affliction
     

Affliction

5.0 4
Director: Paul Schrader, Nick Nolte, James Coburn, Sissy Spacek

Cast: Paul Schrader, Nick Nolte, James Coburn, Sissy Spacek

 

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Nick Nolte and James Coburn deliver some of the finest work of their respective careers in this powerful but troubling adaptation of Russell Banks's novel. Wade Whitehouse (Nick Nolte) is the sheriff in a small New England town; it's a part-time job with few taxing responsibilities, and Wade fills his many free hours by swilling booze, smoking pot, and thinking back

Overview

Nick Nolte and James Coburn deliver some of the finest work of their respective careers in this powerful but troubling adaptation of Russell Banks's novel. Wade Whitehouse (Nick Nolte) is the sheriff in a small New England town; it's a part-time job with few taxing responsibilities, and Wade fills his many free hours by swilling booze, smoking pot, and thinking back on his nightmarish childhood. Wade's father Glen (James Coburn) was by turns callous, distant, and abusive, and Wade has inherited his addiction to alcohol and inability to deal with others. Consequently, Wade's ex-wife (Mary Beth Hurt) despises him, his daughter is uncomfortable and frightened in his presence, and the only person who can reach him is his loving but long-suffering girlfriend Margie (Sissy Spacek). When a wealthy businessman is killed in a hunting accident, Wade suspects foul play and pursues the case with an obsession that puzzles all around him; meanwhile, Wade's mother dies and his brother Rolfe (Willem Dafoe), the only one in the family to escape Glen's abuse without crippling emotional scars, returns to pay his respects and is caught up once again in the damaged lives of his father and brother. James Coburn) won an Academy award for Best Supporting Actor for his work in Affliction, while Nick Nolte was nominated for Best Actor (he lost to Roberto Benigni).

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
Nick Nolte and James Coburn are magnificent in this powerful, brutal tale of alcoholism and emotional neglect in a dysfunctional family. No stranger to portraits of male rage, writer-director Paul Schrader (Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, The Mosquito Coast) imbues the film with a discomforting wintry bleakness. Though the story -- based on a novel by Russell Banks, the author responsible for the similarly chilly The Sweet Hereafter -- may not exactly inspire, the raw, truthful performances of the two leads keep the film compelling. Though somewhat underutilized, the reliable Willem Dafoe and Sissy Spacek are similarly excellent in their supporting roles. Both Nolte and Coburn were nominated for Academy Awards; Coburn took one home for Best Supporting Actor.

Product Details

Release Date:
05/20/2003
UPC:
0031398830436
Original Release:
1997
Rating:
R
Source:
Lions Gate

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Nick Nolte Wade Whitehouse
James Coburn Glen Whitehouse
Sissy Spacek Margie Fogg
Willem Dafoe Rolfe Whitehouse
Mary Beth Hurt Lillian
Jim True Jack Hewitt
Marian Seldes Alma Pittman
Holmes Osborne Gordon LaRiviere
Brigid Tierney Jill
Sean McCann Evan Twombley
Wayne Robson Nick Wickham

Technical Credits
Paul Schrader Director,Screenwriter
Michel Beaudet Art Director
Eric Berg Co-producer
Michael Brook Score Composer
Ellen Chenoweth Casting
Kathleen Chopin Casting
Pedro Gandol Asst. Director
Burtt Harris Asst. Director
Frank Isaac Co-producer
Francois Laplante Costumes/Costume Designer
Nick Nolte Executive Producer
Barr Potter Executive Producer
Anne Pritchard Production Designer
Jay Rabinowitz Editor
Linda Reisman Producer
Patrick Rousseau Sound/Sound Designer
Paul Sarossy Cinematographer

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Affliction 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
I saw this film when it first came out on VHS,and walked away with the knowledge of what it meant to come from a dysfunctional family Later in my life I became in Alcoholic, and watch again while in treatment and then I knew the meaning on a whole different basis
Hugo-Z-Hackenbush More than 1 year ago
My brother had watched Affliction about a year ago; he wouldn't tell me much about it, just that we would understand it. I watched it without any preconceptions about the plot or the acting, only afterward did I research the film. In Affliction, there is only Nick Nolte; everyone else is overwhelmed by his role, a man fighting the undertow of his past, and slowly failing. I have never scene such raw tension on the screen, and it is unsettling. Spacek, Coburn and Dafoe, are as always excellent. Dafoe provides narration and an incredible, succinct epilouge. But Affliction is Noltes, probably the best work he has ever done.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Nick Nolte plays a wonderful cop that sees a conspiracy that is not there, fueled on by alcohol although, at the same time he is fighting his own private war not to be his father. This film is a great meditation on substance abuse in America, with the most deadly drug of all-liquor. Daniel Dafoe and especially James Coburn shine.