About Schmidt

views updated

About Schmidt ★★★½ 2002 (R)

Jack's back and playing against type as Warren Schmidt, a man left with virtually no identity once he retires from his ho-hum insurance job. Left only with time to reflect on a meaningless life, he questions everything he once took for granted, including Helen (Squibb), his wife of 42 years. The day after his retirement, the couple shares breakfast before Helen suddenly dies. With nothing left to lose, Schmidt hits the road in a Winnebago to visit his daughter and try to find some meaning in his poorly thought-out life. In Denver, he meets and immediately hates his daughter's cheesy salesman fiance Randall (Mulroney), while Randall's flowsy mother Roberta (Bates) tries to seduce the lonely introvert in a hot tub. Combines humor, pathos, and hope with a first rate performance by Nicholson, who quashes any of his characteristic animation. Davis, Mulroney, and especially Bates are also excellent. 124m/C VHS, DVD . US Jack Nicholson, Hope Davis, Dermot Mulroney, Kathy Bates, Len Cariou, Howard Hesseman, June Squibb; D: Alexander Payne; W: Alexander Payne, Jim Taylor; C: James Glennon; M: Rolfe Kent. Golden Globes '03: Actor—Drama (Nicholson), Screenplay; L.A. Film Critics '02: Actor (Nicholson), Film, Screenplay; Natl. Bd. of Review '02: Support. Actress (Bates).