The Crossing Guard

Director: Sean Penn
Year Released: 1995
Rating: 2.0

Severely depressed jeweler Freddy Gale (Jack Nicholson) learns that John Booth (David Morse), the drunk driver who killed his daughter Emily, is finally freed from prison ... and then is convinced his only recourse is to shoot him.  I like how director Penn shows the different ways his characters try to "cope" with their emotional pain - Gale frequents strip clubs and drinks to excess, his ex-wife Mary (Anjelica Huston) attends a support group, Booth hangs around artist-types and romances Jojo (Robin Wright) - but it's a painfully simple morality tale that is woefully drawn-out and over-stylized (slow motion is thoroughly abused): as hard as it is, you have to forgive others ... and yourself.  Some seem to bash Nicholson's performance in this - it might be a bit "showy," but I think it's because he felt he had to add something to the rather bare text.