I am self-admittedly very jaded when it comes to viewing and enjoying a motion picture. What is being projected up on the cinema screen of late tends to rarely impress me. The same can be said of the actor Sean Penn. For years, my impression of him has been that of an angry and immature young man who was using acting has a means to channel his inner angst at the expense of the theater-going public, instead of seeking out the services of a good psychiatrist.
I experienced an epiphany yesterday afternoon, while sitting in a movie theater in Manchester.
Sarah and I finally had the opportunity to see The Assassination of Richard Nixon, which opened in British cinemas on April 8th. Before preceding any further, I must make a disclaimer. This film was written and directed by the fiancé of someone whom we consider to be a very special friend; someone who Sarah happened to work with when she was still at Warner Bros. That now being said, we just viewed “A Film by Niels Mueller” that took me on an emotional roller coaster ride not experienced since I first saw Michael Cimino’s The Deer Hunter (with a strong dose of Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman thrown in for good measure). I have but one word to pass along to Niels: Bravo!
Watching Sean Penn interpret Niels' script and direction, we witnessed an individual who has finally matured as an actor, and more importantly as a human being. From now on, I shall look upon and treat Sean Penn with the newfound respect that is due him. As for Niels Mueller, his blip is clearly on the radar screen; here is a writer and director that we should all be keeping our eyes on.