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Sunday, June 19, 2016

Genius (2016)

The famous book editor Max Perkins (Colin Firth) has previously discovered F. Scott Fitzgerald (Guy Pearce) and Ernest Hemingway (Dominic West) but his biggest challenge is still ahead of him. The unstable and self centered hothead Thomas Wolfe (Jude Law) whose opus LOOK HOMEWARD ANGEL is thousands of pages long. Based on the non fiction MAX PERKINS: EDITOR OF GENIUS by A. Scott Berg and directed by the actor Michael Grandage in his feature film directorial debut. This is a frustrating film because there is so much good about but also so much that's very bad! Let's start with the bad. This is the ugliest dingiest "who forgot to pay the light bill?" movie since Eastwood's J. EDGAR. The film is so totally devoid of color that one wonders why didn't they just shoot it in B&W. Jude Law is, to put it bluntly ..... godawful! It's a great part and well written but with the wrong actor. He's not believable for a second. As to the good, John Logan's screenplay is literate and intelligent and manages to make the process of turning thousands of pages into a cohesive publishable book fascinating, no small feat. There's also a killer performance by Nicole Kidman as the older woman who abandons her husband and children for Wolfe. She's the only character I related to or cared about. With Laura Linney who's wasted in the wife role.

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