Carnal Knowledge | Chicago Reader

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Director Mike Nichols tries for a European visual patina (the cinematographer is Giuseppe Rotunno, Fellini's man) but the structure is pure American short-hit—the style of the blackout sketch and comic book. Jack Nicholson, here in the first flush of his stardom, plays the shallow stud hero in an impenetrable combination of masochism and snottiness, though Art Garfunkel and Ann-Margret are quietly charming in support (or should I say relief). The picture has its moments of chilling insight, though essentially it is one more quaint early-70s stab at an American art cinema that never materialized.

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