Five Easy Pieces

Remember when Sally Struthers was a serious actress? Neither do we

Everybody remembers 1970’s Five Easy Pieces for the wrong scene: Jack Nicholson ordering the sandwich in the diner. (“I’d like an omelet, plain, and a chicken salad sandwich…”) 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. Nicholson’s portrait of the self-hating but selfish prodigal son is remarkable, and surrounded by performances of equal mettle (including Karen Black’s), 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). Continues through Thurs., Jan. 3.

Dec. 26-Jan. 3, 7 & 9:15 p.m., 2007

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