Saturday, September 24, 2011

Battle Of The Oscar Stars: Best Picture 1975

Trying to drum up terms to express a mental institution, the word "Cuckoo" sums the idea up rather well.

Even when we think of the word,  a familiar sound pops into our heads. You know, like when people imitate the sound of an old fashioned clock (with minute and hour hands to boot!) striking midnight. Cuckoo, cuckoo. Children born after 2000 are entirely lost right now.

As far as using the word in movie titles, there is only one that set the standard for all others; One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest

However difficult the film may be to watch at times, I've said it before and hopefully I'll say it again, this is a classic to be seen.

Stick with it, especially since the first half hour is a tad slow to the pick up, because the ending is one of those blow your mind moments. The kind that will stick with you for days and years at a time.

I know many have given up on it (cough. members of my family), and write it off as a weirdly depressing story, and still do not know how it ends-I will never tell.

Sure, there is the major sad factor, the story is about down and out people, who have some issues in their noggin. Although, what people may forget is that Jack Nicholson factor. He always plays a dude full of charisma, and is seen to an insane amount here. Pun definitely intended.

Being the main character in the film, the story revolves around his character, McMurphy, and his introduction into a mental hospital. At first, McMurphy does not fit in with the other patients, and doesn't even appear to be sick. It is soon revealed that, he was a prisoner sent to a work camp, and he tricked his way into the hospital as a way of avoiding physical labor.

With all the decieving going on the real question still remains; is the hospital being fooled or is McMurphy really crazy?

Many futures stars and character actors (Danny Devito and Doc from Back To The Future, just to name a few) fill out the cast as the patients, and collectively create some hilarious moments to balance out all the emotional wreckage.

One including a day of boating and fishing after the entire ward breaks out, of course, at the creative and meddling hands of  McMurphy.They see their taste of freedom, and the irony being that most of these men are not as imbalanced as they appear, and with proper help could live in the outside world again. Poor Billy with his stutter-if only it weren't the 1960s! Breaks your heart.

Only one person can determine their sanity, and this character remains a top reason this film is still remembered today; her name is Nurse Ratched.

One day I will make a list of the quitely, craziest characters in film history, and Nurse Ratched (Louise Fletcher took Best Actress for this role) will top the list. As the head nurse she makes it her personal mission to appear helpful to the patients, but really her desire is to maintain order by whatever means possible. Really, whatever means possible, especially when it comes to the fate of McMurphy. 

Currently streaming on Netflix, move this Best Picture to the top of your Instant Queue. Seriously hurry, before all that we know and love about Netflix is changed FOREVER.

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