Five Easy Pieces

Everybody remembers this 1970 classic for the wrong scene (Jack Nicholson ordering the sandwich in the diner). Instead, as a moody, unlikable pianist who’s fled career and family, his defiant appeal for love and forgiveness from a stroke-afflicted father is the real stunner. His portrait of the self-hating but selfish prodigal son is remarkable, but surrounded by performances of equal mettle (including that of Karen Black), thanks to a fine script and the direction of Bob Rafelson—who never again did anything so good. Today, the Tammy Wynette songs are a bit grating, while the camera of Lázló Kovács makes great use of locations (including the San Juan Islands). (R) BRIAN MILLER

March 6-12, 7:30 p.m., 2009

 
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