About Schmidt

Rated NR

Soren Kierkegaard once wrote that "what is called the secular mentality consists simply of such men who, so to speak, mortgage themselves to the world … they have no self, no self for whose sake they could venture everything, no self before God." That pretty much sums up the title character of Alexander Payne’s About Schmidt. Jack Nicholson turns it down a notch to play the sad and lonely Schmidt, a man whose only friend is the 6-year-old Nigerian boy he has "adopted" through a children’s charity. In a series of "Dear Ndugu" letters Schmidt spells out the failures of his life as he comes to reckon with himself after his retirement and the death of his wife. Funny, sad, and mean, About Schmidt has an emotional maturity that is light years ahead of most films, even if it’s a little behind that of an actual, emotionally mature person. Still, more than worth seeing for an awesome performance by Hope Davis and some truly evil cinematography by James Glennon.

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