(702)6.61 h 44 min2016PG-13
HD. Chronicling the complex relationship between famed literary editor Max Perkins, and the eccentric novelist Thomas Wolfe.
Michael Grandage
Colin FirthJude LawNicole Kidman
English [CC]
Audio languages
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Supporting actors
Laura LinneyGuy PearceDominic West
James J. BagleyA. Scott BergTim BevanNik BowerArielle TepperDeepak Nayar
IMDB Freedive
PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned)
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4.3 out of 5 stars

702 global ratings

  1. 63% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 20% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 9% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 5% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 4% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United States

Pepper MichaelsReviewed in the United States on September 6, 2016
5.0 out of 5 stars
Excellent, everything about it
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Wow, humans with real and truly unique personalities that can sustain actual intelligent conversation for more than 3-5 mins!!! No wonder it didn't last in theaters for very long. It almost made my brains pop to have to think while I watched a movie! Incredibly well made, the acting superb by all. Jude Law is almost unrecognizable, he completely inhabits the character of Thomas Wolfe. The research he, Colin Firth, Nicole Kidman and Guy Pierce did to portray their characters was clearly evident and masterful. Movies of this caliber are becoming so rare it's disheartening.
187 people found this helpful
Tim ByersReviewed in the United States on August 29, 2016
5.0 out of 5 stars
An Oscar chance for Jude Law... if anyone actually sees the film
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Jude Law matches heavyweight costars Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman in a touching depiction of the friendship between novelist Thomas Wolfe and his editor Max Perkins. Along with Laura Linney as Perkins' wife, the four create one of the best movies of the year for me. I was not familiar with Thomas Wolfe's work or the towering reputation of Max Perkins, so on its face I was not too sure I would enjoy this. On the reputation of the actors I gave it a try and was thoroughly rewarded. The relationship between the gushing dynamo that was Wolfe and rock steady Perkins builds to a poignant and beautiful conclusion. I do wonder if the subject matter-- the tedious process of writing a novel-- might narrow the scope of the audience but if you appreciate the nature of art and commerce in any way you just might love this film. You might even call it inspiring.
207 people found this helpful
Mindo'ermatterReviewed in the United States on July 14, 2021
5.0 out of 5 stars
Masterful Portrayal of the Dark Side of Genius
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Thoughtful, poignant film of two geniuses: Maxwell Perkins and Thomas Wolfe, who both needed the other in a professional relationship that spanned the heights and depths of human strivings, while each burnt up in the flames of the other's brilliance amid an unsustainable and dysfunctional friendship.

A difficult movie to experience but one worthwhile, revealing the struggles of aspiring to excellence by mortals unwilling to surrender hope until there was nothing more to give. Excellent acting by Colin Firth, Jude Law, and Nicole Kidman added emotional depth and reality to this well conceived screenplay. Both cinematography and directing created a memorable and thought provoking viewing experience.

Serious motion picture appreciated most by those willing to suffer with the real people whose lives intersected so completely in this tragic human drama that reveals the true costs of exceptional talent, reaching for the unattainable.

The movie seemed much longer that it actually was because of the intensity required by those seeking an elusive perfection just beyond their grasp. The film appeals to that something in each of us that strives for the unimaginable, while also recognizing perhaps too late the stark futility and dangers from our hidden weaknesses.

A life-changing experience when viewed with and open mind and sensitive heart. Well done!

Motivates me to learn more of both Maxwell Perkins and Thomas Wolfe: unique people, whose life stories can teach us lessons in wisdom.
7 people found this helpful
Hee Chul KwonReviewed in the United States on October 11, 2016
5.0 out of 5 stars
Great work of art
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You need a partner, a mentor, someone who truely understands your work. Geniosity is not everything to make you famous or I may say make you able to introduce you to the public enough to go on and continue your work of art.
Thomas Wolfe ( Jude Law ) was a geninous writer back in 20s but he was not able to find a single editor to publish his novel back then. People thought that his work is useless, boring and mundane.
He meets this another genious a bit older editor Maxwell Evarts Perkins ( Colin Firth ). He came to him and changed his world.
He was Thomas' mentor, his father and his true friend.
He stole Tomas from his wife Nicole Kidman took posses of him 24 hours a day, make him write genious books that he never wrote before, he coached him but never interrupted just a invisible touch of opinion but very precise and useful pinnacle that the writer Thmas can never do by himself that can change the whole book.
They created the future, they created the book of legend together.
They were practically lovers it's just that they didn't had sex.
But slowly Thomas thought that it was him who is genious and he got a bit corrupted.
Maxwell Evarts Perkins had to have a small moment of his own to make Thomas a lone time.
Thomas realized that something is wrong too.
Just like Boogie Nights by Paul Thomas Anderson they were about to re gathered, Thomas get sick and faded away in such a young age.
We lost th atmost genious diamond writor of our life.
Just like that.
As we know bright burning candle burns as 4 time 10 times faster then normal lights.
He was so fast burnt.
But his last letter arrived late after his death that made his partner Maxwell Evarts Perkins so much cry at the end, make us cry so much at the end.
It was about the confession that you were my everything, a love letter to him.

I love this movie no matter what other people say.

I had a great producer once.
We made on feature together.
We fought together at war. We made it.
Then he was corrupted.
We bought a house later and when I came back to my country, he borrow money by mortgaging the house without my permission and broke my heart. Now we are not talking anymore.
But still I think about him all the time. He was like my brother still.

Anyone needs a good partner.
No one works alone.
Because we are human.
45 people found this helpful
David TeemsReviewed in the United States on March 3, 2017
5.0 out of 5 stars
Harold Bloom despises Thomas Wolfe
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Thomas Wolfe is one of the most underprized American novelist of the 20th Century. Not Tom Wolfe, please. Thomas Clayton Wolfe (1900-1937). I consider Wolfe long strides ahead of his contemporaries Hemingway and Fitzgerald (names that make you shudder), also Perkins authors. Wolfe was of his own rare kind. This movie does what justice it can, but in the end you just have to read Wolfe. He is immense. So much so, that it will take time to get around him if that is possible. You either love him or you don't. He is magnificent. Jude Law doesn't quite have the height of the true TW, but he comes close with every other aspect of the character, including accent and animation. At 6'5", Wolfe often wrote on the top of the refrigerator. When I saw Jude Law writing on top of a very small refrigerator I gave them an A+ for trying. Again, immense. Lush. An evolutionary step, linguistically. And Harold Bloom despises TW (but only because he doesn't have the tools to circumnavigate him. Wolfe is his Moby Dick). His stride is too big. That's enough for me.
22 people found this helpful
Ivan David LippensReviewed in the United States on December 23, 2017
2.0 out of 5 stars
A River of Emo Dribble...
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Absolutely Soul Crushing to Find Out that they had Pretentious Hipsters back-in-day, as well.
Nothing Short of Melodramatic.

There are two main takeaways:
1. Max may have been a great Friend, but he was also a Tool.
2. The only sincere thing Wolfe ever wrote, that they read aloud, was his Death Letter.

A lot of divergent interests in this movie.
If this were about Friendship, it would have been far better, but but between all the characters, there isn't much of a Narrative, here.

I found some relief when Earnest Hemingway slammed one of Wolfe's books, because they spent so much time on it, and when they read snippets of any of his stuff, it was lame.
This entire movie is fixated on a guy who is basically reaching for a depth of meaning in his life, but in reality, he was simple and wretched.

Granted, I have only seen this movie, and not actually read his works, but this review is about the movie, not his written works.
When I was in high-school, however, I did read a couple things by Scott Fitzgerald and Earnest Hemingway, and found them EXTREMELY overrated and pretentious.

If you like this kind of culture, there is only one film I have seen that comes close to making it interesting, and that's "Midnight in Paris" with Owen Wilson. (haha)
If there is something better, I don't know of it, yet, but that's the most genuine thing I am aware of.

Great Writing is Sincere, and Rooted in Truth, otherwise it's just Vanity.
This movie communicated nothing but Boredom, to me.

He wasn't a Genius, he was a Loser, at least according to this Film.
14 people found this helpful
J.R.Reviewed in the United States on January 5, 2018
4.0 out of 5 stars
Tom Was a Narcissist, Clearly
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Really good movie. However, anyone who's ever dated someone with Narcissistic Personality Disorder will recognize it in the character that Jude Law played, Tom. If he was 19 then it would just be precocious youth, but in a grown man it's narcissism. They sweep you off your feet with charm, life, excitement, and the illusion of love only to devalue and discard you. They hurt everyone they touch. I didn't like the Nicole Kidman character in the beginning, but when I recognized how toxic Tom was I related and rejoiced when she told him she felt nothing. This is what we should all aspire to with such a selfish partner. I also rejoiced when the editor waited for his wife at the door and kissed her passionately. This is what we should all aspire to also. This movie was interesting on so many levels even if the narcissism angle bypassed you, it was relatable for writers, editors, parents, lovers, and dreamers of any shape and form. The truth is that many artists and brilliant people are unstable and that's what helps them color outside the lines and create magic, so I don't know if this character portrayal was true to the real life man or not, but I didn't shed a tear at the end for what befell him since I recognized him in many men I've dated. They are bright fireballs that enthrall and engulf but ultimately burn. That said I still felt emotion for all the characters overall, so job well done.
12 people found this helpful
VideobarbsReviewed in the United States on July 10, 2021
2.0 out of 5 stars
It was anything but genius
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I love Colin Firth and Jude Law and I was prepared to really like the movie, but alas, I didn't: The scenes were depressingly filmed in a sepia/black and white attempt to have a film noir vibe to it, which it didn't. The musical score didn't help the visuals at all. The movie dragged along unendingly. My mother loved the author, Thomas Wolfe and his southern charm (just like Tennessee Williams, Truman Capote, Eudora Welty, Carson McCullers, Harper Lee, et al. so I thought that's what I'd like about the story. When it comes to Colin Firth, he used two emotions throughout, grim and more grim. Jude Law came across as a crazed and tortured southern fictional character Blanche du Bois would have been friends with. The talent of Nicole Kidman, playing Aline Bernstein, was totally wasted. She came across like a cardboard character simply carried like a prop from scene to scene. In reality Aline Bernstein was a married and was an influential set and costume designer who had an affair with Wolfe. Law's and Kidman's scenes together didn't strike me as particularly romantic. The 103 (1 hr./43 min.) minute movie felt like a three hour ordeal. The one piece of good news for me was that the movie was free.
3 people found this helpful
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