Thursday, June 23, 2016

Genius: Monday, June 20 2016

Genius, the film directed by Michael Grandage, is a British-American production based on the book, Max Perkins: Editor of Genius (1978), by A. Scott Berg. It feels like a black and white film, and the story is a bit like that too. I didn't like Thomas Wolfe, the writer whose work was being edited by Maxwell Perkins, nor did I really like Perkins too much either. This placed the movie into the category of those that have to be viewed objectively.

Colin Firth is absolutely wasted as Maxwell Perkins. Jude Law as Thomas Wolfe is horrible. Nicole Kidman as Aline Bernstein, is almost unrecognisable. Laura Linney plays Louise Sanders, married to Perkins, adequately. I'm not really one of her fans, but she did quite well.

I had just finished reading Attached, by Amir Levine and Rachel Heller, on the new science of adult attachment. There are three types of attachment styles, identified as Anxious, Secure, and Avoidant. Wolfe and Bernstein play out, in front of our eyes, the way an Anxious interacts with an Avoidant like Wolfe. From that point of view, quite fascinating.

On the other hand, this was one of those films that literally send me to sleep. When I am bored, this my involuntary avoidance technique. I had trouble keeping my eyes open. John Logan has the reputation of being a good writer of film scripts. This wasn't one of his best. I think the direction was competent, but if it sent me to sleep, I really can't say too much about it.

Not a film I would say everyone just has to see.



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