About Schmidt (2002)
January at the theaters is a tale of two kinds of films. One type are the studio bombs (take Just Married and Darkness Falls, please take them far away). The other type are the prestige pictures expanding their releases in hopes of garnering some of that Oscar magic. A lot of prestige films were released around the holidays and though not every one could be a winner, they were all better than Kangaroo Jack. Well, except for The Hours.
Premise: Retired and recently widowed, Warren Schmidt (Jack Nicholson) must learn to live his own life for the first time. Warren travels across the country to rediscover himself and stop his resentful daughter from marrying a man-child with a mullet.
Results: Nicholson downplays his usual shark grin to deliver one of his best performances in a funny, tragic, savage yet warm-hearted film. About Schmidt, from the creators of Election and Citizen Ruth, is one of the best films of 2002.
Nate’s Grade: A