Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Hemingway & Gellhorn

I'm afraid this movie was in Cannes mainly to honor Philip Kaufman as can't find another reason to include screening in the Official Selection. This is a TV movie that I can't compare to the other TV movie screened recently in fest, Carlos in the short or longer versions, even when both are biopics' Carlos seems like a masterpiece (which I don't think it is) when you put both movies side by side.

If I take this movie out of the Cannes context then can say that movie is so-so but is nothing similar to Kaufman's style in The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Henry & June or Quills; so if I forget that Kaufman used to do great movies, then yes movie is entertaining with some great moments thanks mainly to Kidman performance and ironically, to the most not-believable story that benefits not one historic figure, much less Gellhorn. Don't think story is a Gellhorn bio and obviously is not Hemingway bio, so what is the story all about? A fictionalized slice of life telling about the times when Gellhorn and Hemingway were married? A romanticized vision of two strong-head characters? I have no idea as nothing I try to imagine fits to what I saw in this movie, that perhaps would have been better as the story of two fictional characters.

Being positive the story told is entertaining -but confusing if you relate it to reality- and Kidman has some good moments. Then I truly believe that the main male role was a miscast in whatever sense you want to imagine the character (Hemingway or anyone else) as Clive Owen performance seemed like a caricature of man that at first is charming to after become hideous. Is like there would be two parts to this movie, one when they meet up to when they get married, the other starts the minute they marry. The male character changes the film but the female character remains the same, which is kind of unfair as even when Hemingway was no saint, Gellhorn wasn't neither, so the "second act or movie part" should had been with both characters transforming more similar to reality.

Anyway know that many are not familiar with the story of the real characters and if you are one of them probably film story will seem dull and predictable, quite melodramatic and at many times worth of the Lifetime channel more than HBO. Then as a film, has its good moments with use of old footage but quality is uneven as I can clearly tell when actors were over-imposed of footage.

The story really killed the movie for me, so it's a terrible way to start my Cannes viewing experience. Know that I can only recommend this film to those that enjoy watching more Lifetime than HBO movies and to those that have to watch everything (good or bad) with Nicole Kidman, like me. I you also are like me, then be at ease as Kidman is on the good side of performing in this film.

All I wrote feels like me rambling, which is exactly a faithful portrait of how I feel the story is told in movie.


Watch trailer @MOC

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