Whilst everyone out there is releasing their Wonder Woman reviews, I’m here reviewing an animated documentary about a man who believed you could cure impotence with goat glands called Nuts!, I assure it’s for a very good reason. I’ve watched Wonder Woman and that review is on its way, but Nuts!, now this is a film that clearly went under the radar and its only because I was snooping around on Amazon Prime that I stumbled upon this incredibly, insanely wacky take on the American Dream.
Nuts! follows the life of legendary Kansas citizen and epitome of the Americana lifestyle, J. R. Brinkley, who one day had the epiphany that you could cure male impotence by transplanting goat-glands into a man’s scrotum. What’s even wilder than this, is the fact that he fooled thousands with his delirious epiphany, capitalizing on it to forge his vision of the American dream. With his goat-gland operation as the foundation to his American dream, Dr. Brinkley went on to become a pioneer in the establishment of radio communication, ran for governor of Kansas and most importantly, became a beloved, resourceful, and honorable member of his community. But, there’s a manipulative trickery that drives the narrative and as she tells this glorious tale of triumph, director Penny Lane weaves it undone in one of the most destructively beautiful twists I’ve seen presented in film as of late.
Lane drives the film forward under a complete façade that works fantastically despite seeming completely ridiculous. How she does it?, I have no idea, but it is some of the most clever storytelling I’ve seen in a while. Take Lane’s astute direction and combine it with some highly original hand-crafted animation and you’ve got yourself a delightfully wacko tale that sums up the classical American-man and all his far-fetched ambitions in a span of 80 minutes. It’s a remarkable epic of miniature proportions that delights in presenting the oddities that maintain the fabric of American normalcy. Say what you will about J. R. Brinkley’s antics, but remember once upon a time not that long ago thousands of people put their entire trust in whatever this power-house liar said. There’s a conflicting amount of respect and disgust that the tale of J. R. Brinkley brings about and by presenting the story in such an odd format, Penny Lane establishes this wild tale as something entirely outlandish from the get-go, helping us swallow such an absurd pill.
You’ve clearly got the sense that I loved this absurdist take on one of the most absurd, albeit true tales of American success. Penny Lane’s direction is equally clever, funny, and original, unlike most of the stuff you run into nowadays. Nuts! more than lives up to its title, compressing the insanity of Brinkley’s life-story into an endlessly entertaining flick that contains one of the best narrative twists I’ve seen in a while.