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The King Of Marvin Gardens review

A re-release of a minor-key marvel by Bob Rafelson

Unfairly overlooked amid the riches of ’70s Hollywood, this re-release of Bob Rafelson’s ( Five Easy Pieces ) drama confirms it as a minor-key marvel.

Rafelson regular Jack Nicholson plays against type as a depressive DJ compelled to aid the schemes of huckster brother Bruce Dern and his girlfriend (Ellen Burstyn).

It’s a sobering and soulful glimpse at the fag-end of the American Dream, its ragged rhythms given lucidity by Lazlo Kovacs’ austere photography of Atlantic City in winter and a trio of powerhouse performances.

While Dern and Burstyn provide the acting fireworks, an impressively melancholy Nicholson still steals it, notably in his bravura opening six-minute, one-take monologue.

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