Entertainment :: Books

Anatomy Of An Actor :: Jack Nicholson

by Daniel Scheffler
Contributor
Thursday Mar 13, 2014
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There is certainly no one in the entertainment industry today, or potentially ever, that is as creepy and unbelievably sexy at exactly the second as Mister Jack Nicholson. (Mister, it can’t be Sir due to some geographic complexities, but the man deserves some respect as one of the greatest heroes of the silver screen.) Oh and let’s not forget the Ray-Bans front row at the Oscars that might at any moment whisper something inappropriate in your hungry ears. As part of the Cahiers du cinema series of books, from the famed cinema magazine, delivers: "Jack Nicholson, Anatomy of an actor."

The books, a few already in the archives, are supposed to be biographies and use a specific narrative that is up to the individual author to scrutinize the artist’s work, in this case looking at 10 or so of Nicholson’s films and assessing it through Walker’s lens. Walker is a Los Angeles-based film journalist who covers numerous film festivals and regularly writes for different journals giving her enough influence to write about Nicholson, although she marvels at the man just a little too much. Something about the way she admires him allows her not to give the book enough depth. Although the anecdotes and details are fascinating, she never quite allows readers to see the reasoning behind the genius. Slate.com rightfully points out "I want the Anatomy of an Actor series to solve, or at least complicate, that mystery, not simply to marvel that it exists."

Nicholson, who was born in 1937, has won the Academy Award for Best Actor (One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, 1975, and As Good as It Gets, 1997) and still holds a record twelve Oscar nominations, making him the most nominated actor of all time

Nicholson, who was born in 1937, has won the Academy Award for Best Actor ("One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest," 1975, and "As Good as It Gets," 1997) and still holds a record twelve Oscar nominations, making him the most nominated actor of all time. Since he needs no introduction, as he is just an anomaly that wants to be solved, use this book as that guide and then delve into his films to figure out what sits behind those, yes those, eyes. Some movies not to miss in your deep assessment: "Easy Rider" (1969), "Chinatown" (1974), "The Shining" (1980), "The Postman Always Rings Twice" (1981), "Terms of Endearment" (1983), "The Witches of Eastwick" (1987) and "The Departed" (2006).

"Jack Nicholson, Anatomy of an actor"
Beverly Walker
$30.82
Phaidon

Daniel Scheffler is a writer who spends his time in New York, Cape Town and India. Follow him on Twitter @danielscheffler

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