subtlely comedic, wholly insightful
Peter Sellers does an excellent job as a very simple man sheltered throughout his life. Forced into the world, he stumbles into the inner circle of Washington power brokers. Here, he becomes a canvas for their own ideas. He speaks in only simple words and knows only about his life as a gardener; yet, as a sounding board or mirror, people find him insightful and sage like.
Chance's simple outlook is a breeze of fresh air to those around him. People find they can be themselves - mostly because when Chance is around they hear their own thoughts more clearly. "You don't play games with words," says his new friend the entrepeneur. "His peculiar brand of optimism" carries him to be a presidential counsel of sorts. It culminates in people believing he can speak 8 languages and has two doctoral degrees.
Melvyn Douglas as the aging entrepeneur gives a grand performance (This would appear to be his 2nd to last movie - Ghost Story being the last).
The director, Hal Ashby (Harold and Maude), uses restraint in his style. The music is sparse, but carries an opening scene. The shots are mostly simple but they fit the movie well. This is not the later Hollywood trend to make heroes out of simpletons. A good film.
Look for the great video clip of Basketball Jones.
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