Genius

(2016)

Genius - Thumbnail
00:00
1:47:07
  • 1080p
  • 720p
  • 480p
Title:
Genius
Release Date:
10th June 2016
Runtime:
104 min
MPAA Rating:
PG-13
Genres:
Directors:
Michael Grandage
Writers:
A. Scott Berg, John Logan
Languages:
English
Stream Quality:
1080p / 720p / 480p

Storyline

When, one day of 1929, writer Thomas Wolfe, decided to keep the appointment made by Max Perkins, editor at Scribner's, he had no illusions: his manuscript would be turned down as had invariably been the case. But, to his happy amazement, his novel, which was to become "Look Homeward, Angel", was accepted for publication. The only trouble was that it was overlong (5,000 pages) and had to be reduced. Although reluctant to see his poetic prose trimmed, Wolfe agreed and helped by Perkins, who had become a true friend, managed to cut 90,000 words from the book, with the result that it instantly became a favorite with the critics and best seller. Success was even greater in 1935 when "Of Time end the River" appeared, but the fight for reducing Wolfe's logorrheic written expression had been even longer (over two years) and bitter ultimately taking its toll, the relationships between the two men gradually deteriorating. Wolfe did not feel grateful to Perkins any longer but had started resenting him for owing his success to him.

Ratings

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 48%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience 58%
IMDb Rating 6.7

Casts

Colin Firth as Maxwell Evarts Perkins
Guy Pearce as F. Scott Fitzgerald
Jude Law as Thomas Wolfe
Laura Linney as Louise Perkins
Nicole Kidman as Aline Bernstein

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by jdesando 21st June, 2016

Observe a great editor work with a great writer.

"O lost, and by the wind grieved, ghost, come back again." ― Thomas Wolfe, Look Homeward, Angel Max Perkins (Colin Firth) was the genius Scribner's magazine editor, who helped Hemingway, Fitzgerald, and Wolfe become iconic American writers. The watchable Genius, directed by Michael Grandage with a sure understanding of drama, is mostly Thomas Wolfe's (Jude Law) story. The taciturn Max provides the necessary guidance to make sure the book belongs to the writer while Max delivers "good books into the hands of readers." Although the film is engrossingly placed in Perkin's pv, Wolfe dominates through his exuberant personality and unending energy. While Firth plays Perkins as the conservative but imaginative editor, Law is the reason to see the film, a brilliant acting turn reminiscent of his over-the-top Dom Hemingway. Law simply has never been better than as Wolfe. The sepia look of the film is appropriate to the 1929 setting of NYC, and Nicole Kidman as his other muse, Aline Bernstein, is memorably smart and vulnerable when it comes to dealing with manic Wolfe. Although Laura Linney as Louise Perkins is lost in spotty, low energy appearances, her general good cheer carries nicely for a Perkins of whom the audience has grown fond. Because I am always seeking a biography that will show the creative labors of artists, Genius satisfies me when Perkins and Wolfe struggle over the manuscripts. After experiencing Genius, I have seen two sterling examples.

Reviewed by sdlv 13th June, 2016

Beautifully filmed and acted; compelling and touching look at the relationship between a larger than life writer and his editor

I, like other reviewers here, cannot understand why this movie has not received greater praise. I had already read some negative reviews but wanted to see the movie regardless, because of the strong cast and subject matter. I wound up entranced by this well-written, wonderfully acted film. Compelling throughout and a truly touching ending. Perhaps most of today's critics can only get excited by superhero movies. For anyone who loves great acting and a rare look into the creative process that is involved in producing great literature, this is a must see movie. Jude Law was spectacular and very moving in his role as Thomas Wolfe, as was Colin Firth as Scribner's editor Max Perkins. Kudos also to Laura Linney and Nicole Kidman. I loved it!

Reviewed by varistaylor 12th June, 2016

Beautifully crafted and compelling film.

I find it hard to understand how this excellent film is getting negative reviews from critics. It is like a breath of fresh air for thinking movie goers. It is a thoughtful, intelligent and highly entertaining look at Maxwell Perkins, an editor who as he said wanted to bring "good books" to the public. He did, bringing us the works of Fitzgerald, Hemingway and Thomas Wolfe who is the focus of the film. It gives a historical perspective of two opposites (Perkins and Wolfe) who working together create something substantial. Perkins is a strong main character with a noble moral center, beautifully underplayed by Firth. When did we last see someone acting nobly in a film? In contrast, to the larger than life and decadent Wolfe (I had no idea Wolfe was played by Jude Law, until after the film) Law immerses himself in the character. The fact that this is a true story makes it all the more compelling. My fifteen year old daughter who is well versed in the writings of both Fitzgerald and Hemingway encouraged me to see Genius. We both walked away exhilarated; the way you feel after seeing a really good movie that transported you somewhere else. The Director, writer, actors and composer/ scorer all did a first rate job to help bring a to bring a great film to the public.

Reviewed by lpope-1 12th June, 2016

Genius is as great as you can get

This was a very thoughtful, moving film, seamlessly made and directed with divine skill. The storytelling was so trans-formative that both my husband and I could barely leave the theater till every credit ended and the last note sounded. We have a symbiotic relationship with England and hats off to this film. Colin Firth was perfection. Jude Law in a southern role was a moment of challenge but I got over it and let go along for the brilliant ride. Enjoy seeing Nicole Kidman and Laura Linney in every scene give award winning performances and I hope others agree with nominations. Go see this movie. It is top rate in every aspect. The mood, music and total experience is a gift!

Reviewed by Alex Deleon 24th February, 2016

The picture was Okay, but better, Read the Book(s)

Berlin 66 Reviews By Alex Deleon GENIUS, Competition, World Premiere. A Throwstone Product. image1.jpeg Max Perkins and Tom Wolfe checking his MMS intently in "GENIUS" "Genius" Stars Jude Law as genius novelist Thomas Wolfe and an austere Colin Firth who never took hat off until the final scene. Sepia tone photography and meticulous period reconstruction with streets full of proper vintage cars starts out promisingly. New York, 1929. Scribners publishing Co. Thomas Wolfe played by Jude Law as a frenetic young writer from the sticks of north Carolina arrives in The Big City carrying the bound reams of his first novel and brashly forces his way into the publishers office. The editor is quick to realize that he has a raw genius on his hands. This soon turns into a tale of an adoptive father and son relationship between editor Max Perkins (Firth) and the obstreperous genius Thomas Wolfe (Law) -- Colin lives in big manse out on the Island. Wolfe comes to visit. Daughters find him charming and entertaining at dinner. Gracious wife was Laura Linney. Everyone else finds Wolfe a crashing self-centered bore. At work Perkins does not just correct spelling and red-line bits of writing here and there, but does massive restructuring on Wolfe's mounds of hand written manuscripts -- removing hundreds of irrelevant pages to produce finely honed best sellers. He recognizes Wolfe's genius immediately, but also his excessive verbosity and the need to compact the brilliant prose to make it publishable. The first novel, "Look Homeward Angel" (so renamed by Perkins) is a big hit and runaway best seller. Wolfe is an overnight literary sensation and celebrity. Perkins' wife patiently suffers his constant absence from home to work on the editing of the novels. Wolfe's behavior is outrageous (over the top performance by Jude Law with passable southern accent. ) and generally offensive to everybody within his reach. One wonders if the real Thomas Wolfe was such a rake and so ready to run roughshod over peoples feelings. Colin Firth plays Perkins as a close to the chest taciturn dignified father figure in contrast to Law's raving wild man image. In a way this is a tale of cooperative genius, because without the backup brilliance of Perkins' editing insight Wolfe might never have gotten published. Both were workaholics totally dedicated to their respective crafts -- geniuses in their own way. Altogether this is a film that will probably satisfy fans of the magnificent writing of Thomas Wolfe (such as Yours Truly) -- but it gets far too wordy in the sections where long excerpts of Wolfe's scintillating prose are Quoted verbatim on screen to the point where the viewer is tempted to scream: "Alright already. I'll read the book later!" Interesting sub plot involves Wolfe meeting his Main rival for the title of top literary genius of the century, F. Scott Fitzgerald, played by Aussie actor Guy Pearce. Nicole Kidman is unrecognizable under an austere black wig as family friend Aline Bernstein and contributes little other than occasional abrasive nagging. Towards the end after a misunderstanding an ingrate Wolfe sells himself to a rival publisher to the dismay of all, especially Perkins who feels egregiously double-crossed. Very heavy atmosphere until Wolfe suddenly dies of Cerebral Tuberculosis at the height of his career, not yet 38. The sense of his impending doom is in the air as the film progresses to a crushing end. Odd that British theater director Michael Grandage chose to cast all English and Aussie actors in the principle roles of such a totally American tale. Sort of like asking Leonardo Dicaprio to play Charles Dickens with an all-American backup cast. I myself happen to be a big fan of the writing of Thomas Wolfe so I was captivated all the way, but the morning press gathering in the Big Hall accorded the picture no more than a slight round of polite applause. I cannot imagine that the general public will be much more enthusiastic. Alex, Berlin