Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Genius 2016

     In 1929, writer Thomas Wolfe keeps an appointment with Max Perkins, an editor at Scribner.  Other publishers have already turned down publishing a first book for Thomas and he thought Max would do the same.  Max decides Scribner will publish this book but it needs careful editing and the title needs to be changed.  Tom is reluctant to trim the number of pages down from 300 but he agrees.  Tom and Max became true friends and Look Homeward Angel was a critical and financial success.  In 1935, Tom and Max work on Of Time and the River together.  This book began with 5000 pages and it took over two years to trim 90,000 words.  This effort caused a strain in their friendship.
     Thomas Wolfe was a hard drinking and partying man.  Each word he wrote was very important.  Possibly, the words were more important than the people in his life?  Max Perkins had also discovered Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald in this time period.  Max never takes his hat off in this film?  I thought the acting and the story were both good and I didn’t know any details before about Tom or Max.  3* (This movie is OK)

104 min, Bio directed by Michael Grandage with Colin Firth, Jude Law, Nicole Kidman, Laura Linney, Guy Pearce, Dominic West, Vanessa Kirby, Gillian Hanna, Angela Ashton, Eve Bracken, Katya Watson, Lorna Doherty.

Note:  Imdb 6.5 out of 10, 50% critic 46% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Roger Ebert 3*, Amazon 4.1* out of 5* with 224 reviews.
Special Note:  Filmed in Oxfordshire, Kent, Manchester, Buckinghamshire and Merseyside, England, UK.  Originally, The Great Gatsby was titled Trimalchio in West Egg and it was a flop upon its release in 1925.  It did not sell well until the 1950s.  The script for this film is based on A. Scott Berg’s biography of Max Perkins.

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