Life can be monotonous and lack meaning until one major event triggers a spark of understanding.
Life can be monotonous and lack meaning until one major event triggers a spark of understanding. That's what Warren Schmidt, played by Jack Nicholson, experiences in this film. And it is an idea worth exploring with him again and again. The group of deleted scenes that are presented here also give viewers a great deal of insight into director Alexander Payne's commitment to Schmidt's journey. Each segment includes commentary from Payne explaining why it was cut. For example, a great scene between Schmidt and daughter Jeannie (Hope Davis) was removed for timing reasons and because it was deemed unnecessary in explaining the rift in their relationship. Another scene, where Schmidt is interrupted by his wife while he is writing a letter, was cut because it distracted viewers from Schmidt's writing fury. The deleted material is worth watching just to give background to the final cut of the film. A series of five short films is included on the DVD; each center on the city of Omaha, Neb., and the Woodmen Tower in particular. These give even more context to Schmidt's experiences.—JK