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Review of the day for the week of April 5, 1999.


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Affliction is a dull, depressing film that plays up the downside of alcoholism in a tedious, overstated, and poorly plotted script.

Nick Nolte plays a small town police officer that can't seem to stop hitting the bottle, just like his father. He's also a lousy father - no wonder his daughter doesn't want to visit him. His girlfriend (Sissy Spacek) is supportive for a while, but eventually he drives her away, too. In the end - this movie was so awful I don't even feel guilty about giving away the end - he kills his father and sets him on fire. (Still, the worst scene was when he pulled his own tooth - it was painful just to watch him yank it out! Ouch!) Ah, yes, this is sophisticated, fine filmmaking.

A murder mystery subplot was maddening, as it amounted to nothing (no crime was ever committed for all that theorizing!). What a way to write a script! The oppressive gloom and dis-esteeming characters made this movie difficult to watch.

My Rating = Two Stars

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