AFFLICTION
1997, Lionsgate, 114 min, USA/Canada, Dir: Paul Schrader

Writer-director Paul Schrader’s adaptation of the Russell Banks novel focuses on New Hampshire policeman Wade Whitehouse (Nick Nolte, in one of his best performances), forced to confront personal demons as he investigates a suspicious hunting accident. The top-notch cast includes Sissy Spacek, Willem Dafoe, Mary Beth Hurt and James Coburn, who won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar as Whitehouse’s abusive father.


U TURN
1997, Sony Repertory, 125 min, France/USA, Dir: Oliver Stone

On his way to Las Vegas to pay off a debt, Bobby Cooper’s (Sean Penn) car breaks down near the small town of Superior, Arizona, where he becomes entangled with a femme fatale (Jennifer Lopez) and her husband (Nick Nolte) and everything that can go wrong, does. Based the John Ridley novel Stray Dogs, this riveting neo-noir thriller features a top-notch cast including Billy Bob Thornton, Jon Voight, Joaquin Phoenix and Claire Danes.


THE THIN RED LINE
1998, 20th Century Fox, 170 min, Dir: Terrence Malick

Director Terrence Malick’s adaptation of James Jones’ novel is an intensely poetic story of paradise lost in the South Pacific during WWII, a cosmic vision of man at war with himself and nature. With a mind-boggling cast including Sean Penn, Adrien Brody, Jim Caviezel, George Clooney, Woody Harrelson, Elias Koteas, Nick Nolte and John C. Reilly.


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