I just spent two hours with Thomas Wolfe (not to be confused with Tom Wolfe, which I did), Scott Fitzgerald and a moment or two with Ernest Hemingway.
I have read Look Homeward Angel, and thought that The Bonfire of the Vanities, although very different from LHA, was also written by him. I just learned that I have been confusing the two authors, Thomas Wolfe and Tom Wolfe, who, to the best of my understanding, did not hang with Fitzgerald or Hemingway, but was a contemporary of J.T. Salinger, another favorite author of mine, having read most of his stuff. But, whilst I am most likely wrong about that last bit, it has been a stress-filled week and I am not sure about much right now.
Anyway, the context of this match-up is that I borrowed Genius from the library. When my turn came along on the reservation list and I brought it home this week, I could not imagine why. The plot did not sound like something I would have taken the trouble to reserve, but since I would rather spend today not cleaning and moving furniture between floors as I planned and must do this weekend, I watched it.
The film almost immediately grabbed me by the cojones, which I do not have, but my ex told me I had in abundance on one (or more) of the many occasions when I irritated him, which could have pretty much been any of the days we were married. Although, I am pretty sure that he did not use that argument about my serious lack of his version of feminine charms until after our child was born. Another feminine failure on my part, the whole getting pregnant and giving birth thing. Another story.
Genius did take me inside the story of Thomas ("call me Tom") Wolfe and his first editor Max Perkins, played by Jude Law and Colin Firth. Maybe that was the reason I wanted to see this film, those two guys and Laura Linney and Nicole Kidman. All of whom I admire and I have to say right from the step-off, their performances were knock you to your knees, completely fall into the character and totally forget that they were actors playing rolls.
I know that I have had plenty of absorbing film watching experiences, but this movie, well, the story and acting were, are, transcendental. Even given that this week was a period of titering down on some of my psych meds, I am sure that I would have had the same viewing experience. True. Each actor became that person/character. Completely and emotionally. Frankly, I am still a bit breathless, given that whilst based on true events and stories, it contains many additional aspects of the real people involved that cannot be directly attributed to them.
And, that is that. I will not type another word about this film. Ah, sure, you can go to IMDB or any other on-line review thingy, but you will be able to appreciate the power of these performances only by watching it. How it managed to get such low review scores boggles my cojones.