A few days ago I wrote about the 2011 film Warrior and how surprised I was I enjoyed this emotional powder keg of a movie. Well, one of the reasons was the broken down paternal character played by Nick Nolte. He was just nominated for best supporting actor for his performance in Warrior. It's been years since Nolte has been in a high-profile film and then delivered the goods, but Warrior was a jolting reminder that when he wants, he can play tortured anguish like nobody's business. Don't believe me? Watch Nolte's Oscar nominated turn for best actor in 1997's Affliction, one of the bleakest American films ever made.
Unfortunately, Nolte has been lost in the haze of sub-par films and crazy antics involving booze, pills and his overall oddball nature. Warrior is just the start of his comeback 2011 and 2012 for the seventy year old actor. He's wrapped the big-budget crime film The Gangster Squad and he's among the cast for HBO's sweeping new horse racing drama Luck [co-stars are Dustin Hoffman, Dennis Farina and it's produced by David Milch with Michael Mann helming the pilot]. Nolte is in fine form based on the one episode I've watched, playing guess what, an aging trainer trying to stay relevant in this world. It's a perfect sort of role for Nolte and plays to all his strengths as an actor. He's gruff, kind of wise in a no nonsense way, dangerous and sort of broken. Nolte has been cashing paychecks for decades for this kind of role and frankly, it's the sort of stuff I love to see him in.
When looking for interesting things on youtube to possibly use for this post, I came across a Nolte centered documentary from 2009 called No Exit that I'd never heard of. Evidently, Nolte interviews himself in this film about him. There are a couple of my favorite all-time actors talking about Nolte in this--James Gammon and Powers Boothe. That's reason enough for me to try to see this soon. Welcome back Nick Nolte!
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