3.5 The realistic performances and visuals make it hard not to feel empathy toward the characters. It's a great and touching story. But I feel there's a moral dimension - the dichotomy of the nurse as the big bad wolf and McMurphy as the one who saves them all - that the film tries to enforce and it's not convincing enough, perhaps because its portrayal could use a bit more dimension.
It's hard to imagine any other drama that came up from Hollywood, and it managed to spoke so well with its audience, no matter what point of view they share. It brought humor that uplifts, tragedy that devastates and denouement with power that feels just as strong today. There's no wasted character - even if some of them are silent - while the main cast brought performances of the lifetime and for cinema history.
This movie was very odd at times. Nurse Ratched was a terrible misrepresentation of those who work with psychiatric patients. Her cold demeanor to her patients was rather distasteful to witness. As a nursing student, I didn't appreciate seeing her throughout the movie remain so emotionless. Jack Nicholson left me wondering why he ultimately chose to be smothered to death. So many questions, yet no answers.