" We must whup Mr. Tooth Decay "
— Muhammad Ali, When We Were Kings

MRQE Top Critic

Muscle Shoals

Even if the Muscle Shoals sound isn't on your iPod, you'll like seeing where it came from —Marty Mapes (review...)

Etta sings in Muscle Shoals

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Nick Nolte will probably get the Academy Award for Best Actor for his portrayal of the Sheriff, Father, and once-abused son who lives “on the edge of his emotions.” [NOTE: he didn’t — MM] I’m not sure I’d automatically choose him, but I would certainly consider it. When Wade’s 11-year old daughter comes to visit, everything seems to go wrong. She finally asks to go back home to mom, and Wade (Nolte) loses his temper. Thereafter, Wade must confront how his father (James Coburn) mistreated him as a boy, and whether he can be any different as a man. The slow pace of The Sweet Hereafter (the last Russell Banks novel made into a movie) was offset by thematic intricacy, but in Affliction there is no counterbalance, so I rate it lower. What makes Affliction good is the performances from Nolte, Coburn, and Sissy Spacek.