While the Cannes cognoscenti revel in the unblinking confessions of Mike Tyson in his eponymous documentary currently screening there, another opus of self-reflective, crazy-ass candor has found increasing traction at the festival as well. Like Tyson, Nick Nolte: No Exit reportedly features an unadulterated one-on-one session with its subject, but boosts the stakes with the added integrity of an unprecedented Nolte-on-Nolte grilling:
Nolte is essentially trapped in an office with his own thoughts, often mumbling along in stream-of-consciousness soliloquies.
At times, No Exit can play like a combination of an intervention meeting and a great episode of Behind the Music. Like private investigator Anthony Pellicano's discussing his crimes while serving as his own attorney, Nolte sometimes talks of himself in the third person.
In discussing his 2002 arrest for driving under the influence, Nolte steers his remarks about that highly public transgression toward his less well-known 1961 case for selling fake draft cards. "It seems like a much bigger criminal action than that silly, goofy guy that was picked up not long — about two or three years ago — which has now been voted the best celebrity mug shot. Are you proud of that? Do you want to talk to me or some celebrity that you are chasing?"
It may not be the comic treasure of Woody Allen cross-examining himself in Bananas, but for pure, rambling conversations with oneself, Nolte is a tough act to beat. Moreover, the potential influence of his breakthrough has James Lipton hoarding blue cards and Inside the Actors Studio clips for an hour-long interview with himself while Barbara Walters plots her own tell-all expose for Oscar night '09. Meanwhile, in New York, an angry Jon Stewart is claiming Nolte stole his own well-established All Me™ interview format from The Daily Show. We hear a winner-take-all self-Q&A is in the works for the months ahead.