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Academy Award Film Series: Schrader's Afflicted 1998 Anti-Hero Has Elements in Common with Titular Taxi Driver Character

'Affliction' movie: Nick Nolte as the troubled police officer Wade Whitehouse. 'Affliction' movie: Great-looking psychological drama fails to coalesce Set in a snowy New Hampshire town, Affliction could have been an excellent depiction of a dysfunctional family's cycle of violence and how that is accentuated by rapid, destabilizing socioeconomic changes. Unfortunately, writer-director Paul Schrader's 1998 film doesn't quite reach such heights.* Based on a novel by Russell Banks (who also penned the equally snowy The Sweet Hereafter), Schrader's Affliction relies on a realistic wintry atmosphere (courtesy of cinematographer Paul Sarossy) to convey the deadness inside the story's protagonist, the middle-aged small-town sheriff Wade Whitehouse (Nick Nolte). The angst-ridden Wade is intent on not ending up like his abusive, alcoholic father, Glen (James Coburn), while inexorably sliding down that very path. Making matters more complicated, Wade must come to terms with the fact that his ex-wife, Lillian (Mary Beth Hurt), will never return to him,

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