Day 356: One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest/ The Twilight Saga

#370/ 365 – ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest’ (1975) – 133 mins
IMDb Challenge #242 / 250 – Ranked #9 – DVD Collection

McMurphy (Jack Nicholson) thinks he can get out of doing work while in prison by pretending to be mad. His plan backfires when he is sent to a mental asylum. He tries to liven the place up a bit by playing card games and basketball with his fellow inmates, but Nurse Ratched is after him at every turn.

Over the years there have been a few films to have been nominated for the ‘Big Five’ Academy Awards, Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, and Best Screenplay but only three have ever won all Five, ‘It Happened One Night (1934)’, ‘The Silence of the Lambs (1991)’ and this richly deserving effort from Milos Forman.

At its heart One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest is an epic battle of wills between McMurphy and Nurse Ratched. From top to bottom, the casting is spot on. Jack Nicholson as the free spirit and rule breaker commands the screen every time the camera lingers upon him. Louise Fletcher is every bit his equal as the strait-laced by the book Nurse Ratched.

The film is full of great moments. The scene where McMurphy reenacts the play-by-play excitement of a World Series baseball game for the other patients, and a heart-wrenching finale being the most memorable.

With a great script and great direction, Forman is masterful at balancing the outrageous humor with the seriousness of the asylum. One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest is an all-time classic for a reason. It is a moving, funny, thoughtful and uplifting piece of filmmaking.

#371/ 365 – ‘The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1′ – 117 mins
Cinema Challenge #126 / 115

Even though I was on holiday in Savannah, Georgia visiting my sister and family, I still managed to get a trip to the cinema in. Though it was more a case of my sister being a fan of the Twilight saga that she wanted to see the latest installment.

Human Bella (Kristen Stewart) and vampire Edward (Robert Pattinson) finally tie the knot. But when she becomes pregnant, they face a life-threatening dilemma. The neighbourhood wolf pack circles, determined to prevent the birth of a potentially uncontrollable bloodsucker, and Bella’s admirer, Jacob (Taylor Lautner), tries to protect her.

The plot is wafer thin and straightforward. It is all about Bella – the wedding (some excellent production design on show here), lots of chess playing before they consummate, and the demon birth. That’s essentially what you get, and all this becomes one incredibly long drawn out yawn fest scenario for two hours. The story lacks any real depth and suspense especially during the birth and wolf pack attack scenes. All of this is mixed with lots of moody staring contests throughout between Jacob and Edward and some laughable dialogue from the pair.

In a nutshell if you’re not a Twilight fan, don’t go and see this film; you will have a horrible time. On the other hand if you’re a Twilight fan well of course you will love it. Even though I haven’t watched any of the previous Twilight films, I went in with an unbiased mind but this evidence suggests that I won’t be playing catch-up with the previous installments anytime soon or if at all.

Bella, remember birth control next time and you could have prevented this nightmare.

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