Ironweed

Unrelentingly bleak, Ironweed is a film without an audience and no reason for being except its own self-importance. It's an event picture without the event. Whatever joy or redemption William Kennedy offered in his Pulitzer prize-winning novel is nowhere to be found, surprising since he wrote the screenplay.

With:
Jack Nicholson Meryl Streep Carroll Baker Michael O'Keefe Diane Venora Fred Gwynne

Unrelentingly bleak, Ironweed is a film without an audience and no reason for being except its own self-importance. It’s an event picture without the event. Whatever joy or redemption William Kennedy offered in his Pulitzer prize-winning novel is nowhere to be found, surprising since he wrote the screenplay.

The story of Francis Phelan (Jack Nicholson) who returns to his native Albany in 1938 literally carrying a lifetime of ghosts with him is loaded with elaborate expository passages trying to account for why an obviously intelligent individual has abandoned his family for a bum’s life.

Phelan’s movement around Albany is like a passage through the rings of hell, but instead of coming out at paradise, he’s still the same old bum at the end.

Nicholson and Meryl Streep have approximately three scenes together and though they clearly have a great deal of affection for each other, they are beyond passion.

1987: Nominations: Best Actor (Jack Nicholson), Actress (Meryl Streep)

Ironweed

Production: Taft/Barish/Tri-Star. Director Hector Babenco; Producer Keith Barish, Marcia Nasatir; Screenplay William Kennedy; Camera Lauro Escorel; Editor Anne Goursaud; Music John Morris; Art Director Jeannine Oppewall

Crew: (Color) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1987. Running time: 144 MIN.

With: Jack Nicholson Meryl Streep Carroll Baker Michael O'Keefe Diane Venora Fred Gwynne

More Film

  • Zoey Deutch

    Zoey Deutch to Star in Indie Drama 'Buffaloed'

    Unrelentingly bleak, Ironweed is a film without an audience and no reason for being except its own self-importance. It’s an event picture without the event. Whatever joy or redemption William Kennedy offered in his Pulitzer prize-winning novel is nowhere to be found, surprising since he wrote the screenplay. The story of Francis Phelan (Jack Nicholson) […]

  • Suicide Squad Harley Quinn

    Harley Quinn Spinoff Earns $12.6 Million Tax Credit From California

    Unrelentingly bleak, Ironweed is a film without an audience and no reason for being except its own self-importance. It’s an event picture without the event. Whatever joy or redemption William Kennedy offered in his Pulitzer prize-winning novel is nowhere to be found, surprising since he wrote the screenplay. The story of Francis Phelan (Jack Nicholson) […]

  • Alita Battle Angel Trailer

    'Alita: Battle Angel': Cyborgs Face Off in Latest Eye-Popping Trailer

    Unrelentingly bleak, Ironweed is a film without an audience and no reason for being except its own self-importance. It’s an event picture without the event. Whatever joy or redemption William Kennedy offered in his Pulitzer prize-winning novel is nowhere to be found, surprising since he wrote the screenplay. The story of Francis Phelan (Jack Nicholson) […]

  • Robert De Niro

    Robert De Niro in Talks to Join Joaquin Phoenix's Joker Movie

    Unrelentingly bleak, Ironweed is a film without an audience and no reason for being except its own self-importance. It’s an event picture without the event. Whatever joy or redemption William Kennedy offered in his Pulitzer prize-winning novel is nowhere to be found, surprising since he wrote the screenplay. The story of Francis Phelan (Jack Nicholson) […]

  • Golden Globes

    HFPA, Dick Clark Productions Near New Golden Globe Awards Rights Deal With NBC

    Unrelentingly bleak, Ironweed is a film without an audience and no reason for being except its own self-importance. It’s an event picture without the event. Whatever joy or redemption William Kennedy offered in his Pulitzer prize-winning novel is nowhere to be found, surprising since he wrote the screenplay. The story of Francis Phelan (Jack Nicholson) […]

  • Wavescape Film Fest Rides High With

    Wavescape Film Fest Rides High With 14th Edition

    Unrelentingly bleak, Ironweed is a film without an audience and no reason for being except its own self-importance. It’s an event picture without the event. Whatever joy or redemption William Kennedy offered in his Pulitzer prize-winning novel is nowhere to be found, surprising since he wrote the screenplay. The story of Francis Phelan (Jack Nicholson) […]

  • (L to R) Tanya (CHRISTINE BARANSKI),

    Why 'Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again's' Box Office Opening Is Still a Win

    Unrelentingly bleak, Ironweed is a film without an audience and no reason for being except its own self-importance. It’s an event picture without the event. Whatever joy or redemption William Kennedy offered in his Pulitzer prize-winning novel is nowhere to be found, surprising since he wrote the screenplay. The story of Francis Phelan (Jack Nicholson) […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content