Thursday, June 9, 2016

Genius Review - 2 Stars

Writer Thomas Wolfe struggled until he convinced agent/editor Max Perkins to read the rough copy of "Look Homeward Angel." Their partnership made literary history, as the more mature editor coaxed the best from Thomas Wolfe. According to "Genius," the job of coaxing wasn't easy as Wolfe drank his way through life. "Genius" has the benefit of the excellent Colin First as editor Max Perkins and Jude Law as Wolfe. Nicole Kidman adds to the tortured nature of this portrait as Wolfe's mistress, prone to her own bouts of drinking and suicide attempts. Laura Linney appears as Perkins' wife, who suffers from neglect as Wolfe demands her husband's attention. "Genius" faces a hurdle. It tries to visually tell the story of a man who writes. The movie boils down to a group of fine actors talking about writing. Wolfe's bad behavior - seems he was a jerk - makes "Genius" even harder to like. The design and use of 1920s and '30s fashions and settings helps overcome some of these problems. "Genius" turns out to be a movie you want to like, more than the experience it gives. Does it deliver what it promises? Portrait of writer Thomas Wolfe and the literary world of the 1920s. Is it entertaining? Hard to like the main character. Is it worth the price of admission? For a select few... and you know who you are.