What it's about:
A stirring drama about the complex friendship and transformative professional relationship between world-renowned book editor Maxwell Perkins (who discovered F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway) and larger-than-life literary giant Thomas Wolfe.
What we thought:
I feel like Genius is one of those films I should really like but for some reason I just can’t. It’s an almost poetic look into the art of writing that highlights the pain, darkness and total devotion that it takes to bring the words to life.
It also doesn’t shy away from the fact that writing sometimes selfishly devours its creator from the inside out.
It drains the creativity out of the author’s soul like drops of blood seeping from a wound. Sometimes leaking slowly and other times squirting out dramatically with each pump of the heart.
Genius tries hard to pay homage to Thomas Wolfe, Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald – writing legends. But alas I don’t think any film will ever be able to truly honour these literary giants.
Michael Grandage’s feature film directorial debut is applaudable but far from being a masterpiece. Even the most hardcore of literature fans will find themselves checking their watches. The film, at points, drags and fails to keep the audience hooked.
There are some beautiful conversations and really great dialogue. John Logan did a great job of adapting Andrew Scott Berg’s biography for the big screen but alas something is missing. Exactly what that something is I’m not sure.
Colin Firth (Max Perkins), Jude Law (Thomas Wolfe) and Nicole Kidman (Aline Bernstein) give beautiful performances that absolutely make the film worth the watch. But not everyone will be happy to put in the effort and sit through this biographical drama.
Book lovers, history fanatics and art movie fans will leave the cinema satisfied but the film certainly won’t make any “must watch” lists.
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