Honestly, the worst way to end the 60/60 list would have been to end with a movie I felt 'blah' about. Fortunately, we're ending on a good note. McMurphy (Jack Nicholson) ends up being transferred to a mental institution so they can assess whether or not he's crazy or just dangerous. While there, he plays a psychological battle against Nurse Ratched (Louise Fletcher), trying to get under her skin. The other inmates are played by people such as Danny DeVito, Christopher Lloyd, Brad Dourif, Will Sampson, Michael Berryman, and more. And my main man Scatman Crothers shows up as an orderly, as well.
I honestly didn't think I was going to enjoy this movie as much as I did. I was hoping to like it, but I came out really loving it. First of all, it has a fantastic pacing. There's never a dull moment, and I found myself wondering what was going to happen next. It kept me on my toes, which I really liked.
The acting was phenomenal, too. Of course Nicholson was excellent--this was his first Oscar win. One scene that particularly showed off his skills was probably one of the quietest scenes in the movie. It's closer to the end, and Nicholson sits down. The camera closes in on his face... and just stays there. Nicholson goes through a range of emotions, never making a noise, and all you can think about is what is going through this guy's head right now. It's a fantastic moment in the movie. And Louise Fletcher as Nurse Ratched is great. I know the comparison I'm about to make came later, but I experienced it first, so it works... but she reminds me a lot of Umbridge from Harry Potter (funnily enough, I re-watched Order of the Phoenix the same night I watched this). She seems nice and like she just wants to do what's right, but there's something not quite right, and you slowly realize that she's actually rather deranged. It really shows in the fact that by the end of the film, Nicholson has done more for the patients than she ever has, but she drags them back down and derails everything.
The best stuff comes from the relationships between the characters. The Chief was my favorite, of course, and the slow friendship McMurphy builds with him is excellent (and inevitably heartbreaking). I really appreciated this film from the character level and how they all worked off of each other and grew. I made a Harry Potter comparison already, but another comparison this made me think of was Chan-wook Park's I'm A Cyborg, But That's OK, where it seems the main guy is doing more for these patients than the staff, and you question who really are the insane ones.
It's a movie that has some good laughs, and it doesn't get too heavy and depressing that it drags you down. Well, it gets a bit serious near the end, but maybe for only about 5 minutes. Then it has a high note ending (sorta). I couldn't say I would watch it all the time, but it's definitely one I would like to revisit every now and then. The characters and their situation was just far too engaging for me to feel otherwise. If you have yet to see it, definitely check it out, especially if you enjoy mental hospital-type movies. It's excellent.
(P.S. That's it, folks! That wraps up the 60/60 Project! As for this particular month, it was interesting. The last couple were the best, which is funny considering it was usually the opposite every other month of the year. But alas. Keep an eye out over the next few days as I post some fun stats, lists, and other information that I've put together for the project! See you then.)