Harry and Tonto Paul Mazursky

Art Carney copped an Oscar for his turn in this comedy/drama, and though it's more presence than performance, it's the only authoritative thing in the entire movie. Carney plays Harry Coombes, an irascible senior citizen who walks his cat Tonto on a leash and refuses to move from an apartment that's slated for demolition. Finally evicted, he moves in with his son Philip Bruns, gets enough of the man's miserable family and sets off on a cross-country odyssey to see his daughter, Ellen Burstyn, and his other son, Larry Hagman. I'd like to say it's Umberto D. by way of Jack Kerouac, but those sources are far less gooey than co-writer/director Paul Mazursky, who seems satisfied to touch on the signs of the times rather than deal with them in depth. Of course, Harry is completely befuddled by post-hippie, sexual revolution America, and of course he's the one solid rock in the fallen world that surrounds him, but like everything else in the movie he's made cute and unthreatening so as not to frighten the children. Mazursky has always been good at a melancholy mood, and there are moments when the sadness is enough to warrant your attention, but they're always blown by a sitcom sense of character and dialogue that never found a cheap laugh it didn't like. It's inoffensive, but that's the problem: instead of directly engaging with the problems of the day, it merely uses them as leverage in seeming "with it" and important. Extras include a lively commentary by Mazursky that's funny and generous to his collaborators, two trailers, and three TV spots. (Fox)