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THE PLEDGE

USA, 2000 (MIFF 2001, International Panorama)

Director: Sean Penn

"The Pledge is by far the finest of the three films that Sean Penn has directed It infuses almost every image with a mixture of sorrow and dread. Set in Nevada, its portrait of the West is of a shabby modern-day frontier civilization planted in a landscape of ominous beauty. The air crackles with a barely suppressed violence "—New York Times

Jack Nicholson is Jerry Black, an exhausted cop in his 60s who just wants to go fishing. Only hours before his retirement, he becomes obsessed when a child's body is discovered in the mountains by a teenage snowmobiler.

Magnificently understated, Nicholson's performance evokes the volatile, frightening place where male rage, fear, grief, loneliness and a warped sense of honour converge and explode. A formidable supporting cast includes appearances by Benicio Del Toro. Helen Mirren, Vanessa Redgrave, Sam Shepard and Harry Dean Stanton Screened in Official Competition. Cannes 2001

'The Pledge provides Jack Nicholson with one of his best roles in years. He shows us a man who has embarked on a terrifying and lonely quest into the unknown places of his mind."—Chicago Sun-Times

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