Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore takes a group of wellcast film players and largely wastes them on a smaller-than-life film – one of those ‘little people’ dramas that make one despise little people.
Script establishes Ellen Burstyn as the lovingly slovenly wife of Billy Green Bush, who gets killed near their New Mexico tract home. Burstyn decides to return to her long-ago Monterey origins.
Burstyn’s young fatherless child is played to excruciating repulsiveness by Alfred Lutter. The pair wander westward through the story. Burstyn resumes her singing career as a saloon entertainer, then a waitress, as assorted minor characters come and go.
Eventually, just over an hour into the proceedings enter Kris Kristofferson. The last half of the film is, indeed, a picture; but as a whole it’s a distended bore.
1974: Best Actress (Ellen Burstyn).
Nominations: Best Supp. Actress (Diane Ladd), Original Screenplay