Archive for the ‘Michael Grandage’ Category

Look Homeward, Angel

Genius

genius

Director: Michael Grandage

Cast: Colin Firth, Jude Law, Nicole Kidman, Laura Linney, Guy Pierce, Dominic West, Vanessa Kirby

Jude Law reunites with his Cold Mountain co-star Nicole Kidman and shares the screen with Oscar winner Colin Firth (The King’s Speech) in actor turned director Michael Grandage’s handsome literary film, Genius which premiered at the 37th Durban International Film Festival – http://www.durbanfilmfest.co.za/

Genius is based upon the biography of Max Perkins written by A. Scott Berg and transformed into an enlightening screenplay by John Logan.

Set in New York in the late 1920’s and on the brink of the Great Depression, Colin Firth gives a measured and subtle performance as the literary editor Max Perkins who has to contend with the overzealous and brilliant Carolingian writer Thomas Wolfe wonderfully played by Jude Law (The Talented Mr Ripley) who has written a masterpiece, Look Homeward, Angel but needs the editing skills of the diligent Max Perkins to edit the text into a readable novel.

Perkins was responsible for editing the literary works of Ernest Hemingway played in this film by Dominic West (Testament of Youth) and F. Scott Fitzgerald post his Parisian phase, played by Guy Pearce (L.A. Confidential). Genius is the examination of a male bond and friendship which strikes up between the reserved and slightly conservative Perkins and the wild and exuberant Thomas Wolfe, whose patronage is supported by the jealous and possessive Aline Bernstein superbly played by Nicole Kidman (The Hours).

Genius is about the evolution of a literary text, from creation through editing to publication, and how that process can be fraught with distraction, despair and most importantly passion.

Perkins neglects his long suffering wife Louise played by Oscar nominee Laura Linney (Kinsey, Mr Holmes) and his family of daughters. Perkins unwittingly and perhaps subconsciously finds solace in the male friendship of the erratic and gifted Thomas Wolfe, although their affection for each other borders upon the homo-erotic, which both Aline and Louise can perceive and are certainly threatened by.

Firth wears a hat for the majority of the film and only at the end of Genius after he admits his true feelings for the incorrigible Wolfe, does he take it off. Perkin’s hat serves as a signifier of conformity in the film, despite the raging modernist and Bloomsbury movement which was engulfing Paris and London at the times. New York was still fairly conservative by European standards especially as the full effects of the Great Depression are realized by American society.

Despite an Oscar worthy cast and ambitious literary intentions, Genius is not a superb film in the same vein that The Hours was or Christopher Hampton’s Carrington, yet it is worth watching and would appeal to audiences who possess sophisticated literary tastes.

Nevertheless with polished production values, and brilliant performances by Jude Law and Nicole Kidman, Genius is an informative portrayal of a hugely talented writer Thomas Wolfe who never quite achieved the same international posthumous recognition as F. Scott Fitzgerald or Ernest Hemingway.

Genius is recommended viewing and certainly a reason to rediscover the literary works of Wolfe who wrote Look Homeward, Angel  and Of Time and The River.

Sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Wolfe

Film Directors & Festivals
Reviews and Awards
Review Calender
December 2017
M T W T F S S
« Nov    
 123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728293031
  • Gaumont’s French Christmas Comedy ‘Santa & Cie’ Set for Massive Roll-Out in China
    After smashing the French B.O. with an estimated €3.5 million grossed in 5 days, Alain Chabat’s fantasy-filled Christmas comedy “Santa & Cie” will be getting a wide release in China on Dec. 15. Hishow Entertainment is partnering up with China Film Group to give “Santa & Cie” a massive roll out across 8000 screens. Co-produced […]
    elskes
  • Jenna Coleman Returning for Season Three of ‘Victoria’
    Jenna Coleman will return to her role as British monarch “Victoria” after ITV and PBS Masterpiece greenlit a third season of the royal drama. Coleman plays the young Queen Victoria opposite Tom Hughes as Prince Albert, and he also returns for season three, which will continue to follow the life of the monarch and her […]
    Stewart Clarke
  • MICA: Mexico’s Leyenda Brings to the Market TV Series ‘La Amenaza Roja’
    Following on “Diablo Guardián,” Ramiro Ruiz, producer of Alonso Ruizpalacios’ “Güeros,” one of the standout Latin American movie debuts of the decade, is preparing a new TV series with Legend Films partner José Nacif: an everyman masked vigilante drama entitled “La Amenaza Roja.” (The Red Threat). The project was pitched at Mexico City’s 2nd Mercado […]
    John Hopewell
  • NFL Network Suspends On-Air Analysts Amid Sexual Harassment Probe
    Three NFL Network analysts have been suspended after Jami Cantor, a former wardrobe stylist at the network, filed a complaint against NFL Enterprises alleging sexual harassment by several men while she was employed with the company. NFL Network confirmed the suspension in a statement to Bloomberg. The suit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, names […]
    Erin Nyren
  • ‘The Assassination of Gianni Versace’: 6 Things We Learned From FX’s First Screening
    Darren Criss has taken on a “Shakespearean” role in bringing the tortured life story of serial killer Andrew Cunanan to life in FX’s “The Assassination of Gianni Versace.” So said “Versace” director and executive producer Ryan Murphy on Monday night as he “played Barbara Walters” during a Q&A with stars and producers following the series’ […]
    Cynthia Littleton