Genius movie poster

Celebrated British stage director Michael Grandage tries his hand at making a movie with this adaptation of A. Scott Berg’s biography of famed American literary editor Maxwell Perkins, starring the invariably faultless Colin Firth. Not surprisingly, the cast, composed of Awards-season heavyweights, are all given turns at bat. Of Perkins’s three famed discoveries, Fitzgerald (Guy Pearce) and Hemingway (Dominic West) are relegated to supporting bits, with Jude Law’s Thomas Wolfe the colorful focal point of this otherwise unvariegated re-creation. Watching the obstreperous Wolfe — the only ones who genuinely appear to enjoy his company are Perkins’s young daughters — and his ever-questioning mentor scythe the “great rolling mountains of prose” gets old fast. The womenfolk (Nicole Kidman and Laura Linney) suffer well. It’s only outside the workplace, on the streets of New York ca. 1929 or paying a visit to a small blues bar for an impromptu rendition of “Flow Gently Sweet Afton,” that the film comes to life. 2016.

Scott Marks

This movie is not currently in theaters.

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