Created by Arthur Miller
In his first original screenplay since The Misfits way back in 1961, Arthur Miller (The Crucible, Death of a Salesman, etc.) tackled the private eye genre in 1990's moody, cynical Everybody Wins, starring Nick Nolte and Debra Winger.
Nolte plays TOM O'TOOLE with a sort of rumpled, vulnerable charm. He's a former Boston cop turned small town private investigator who works out of his home, a "comfortable, conventional ranch house out in the country," just a bit outside of Highbury, Conneticutt, a small industrial city of maybe 40,000. He's a widower, whose wife, Catherine, passed away some three years ago, leaving him with two boys. His sister, Connie, a school teacher, moved in to help with the children, but now the boys are gone, and it's just the two of them. But Connie's maternal instincts and over-protectiveness towards Tom are starting to chafe.
And then Tom is hired by one Angela Crispini (Debra Winger), an obnoxious hooker with a multiple-personality disorder and a whole lot of other problems, who wants him to find evidence to free Felix, a boy she feels has been wrongly convicted of murder. After several years of being more or less celibate, Tom finds himself falling for Angela, despite evidence that she's either crazy or a liar (or possibly both.)
When it was released, the film was condemned for being too talky, too preachy and just too slow. But if you can fall into its quirky rhythms, there's a lot to enjoy in this flawed but ambitious film.
Sure, it's pretentious and awkwardly self-conscious as hell at times, but Nolte and Winger play the hell out of their characters, and Judith Ivey as the "I told you so" sister is a real treat. Chalk this one up as one that "coulda been a contender."
-- Rita Kempley, The Washington Post
-- Desson Howe, The Washington Post
Report respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.
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