- 1 hr 44 min
Genius is a 2016 biographical drama film that tells the story of Max Perkins, the famous editor and book publisher who discovered some of the most brilliant writers of his time, such as F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway. The movie was directed by Michael Grandage and starred Colin Firth as Max Perkins, Jude Law as Thomas Wolfe, and Nicole Kidman as Aline Bernstein.
The story is set in New York City in the 1920s and 1930s and depicts the relationship between Perkins, Wolfe, and Bernstein. Wolfe is an ambitious, larger-than-life writer who dreams of becoming a literary giant, but struggles to get his work published. He meets Perkins, who immediately recognizes his talent and decides to take him on as a client. Perkins becomes Wolfe's editor, mentor, and friend, and helps him to shape and refine his manuscripts into masterpieces.
However, the success of their working relationship is threatened by the interference of Bernstein, who is also Wolfe's lover. She is a strong-willed woman who is fiercely protective of Wolfe and his work, and who resents Perkins' influence over him. She feels that Perkins is trying to control Wolfe and tone down his wild and erratic writing style, and she conspires to break up their partnership.
The movie follows the three characters as they navigate the complex world of publishing, literary fame, and personal relationships. Through their interactions, the movie explores themes such as creativity, ambition, loyalty, betrayal, and the price of success. It also offers an inside look into the process of writing and editing a book, as well as the dynamics between authors, editors, publishers, and critics.
One of the strengths of the movie is its cast. Colin Firth delivers a compelling performance as Max Perkins, portraying him as a reserved, dignified, and intelligent man who is passionate about literature and deeply committed to his authors. Jude Law also shines as Thomas Wolfe, capturing his boisterous, passionate, and tormented persona with great energy and authenticity. Nicole Kidman showcases her acting skills as Aline Bernstein, bringing a mix of sensuality, vulnerability, and assertiveness to her character.
Another strong aspect of the movie is its production design and cinematography. The movie captures the glamour and sophistication of New York City in the 1920s and 1930s, with its elegant buildings, lush parks, and bustling streets. The settings and costumes are meticulously crafted to convey the mood and atmosphere of the era, and the cinematography makes effective use of light and shadow to evoke the emotional tone of the scenes.
The movie's pacing, on the other hand, is a bit uneven. Some parts of the movie feel slow and repetitive, especially when it comes to the relationship between Wolfe and Bernstein, which could have been developed in more depth. However, the movie compensates for this with its strong dialogue, which is rich in wit, humor, and insight. The conversations between Perkins and his authors are particularly engaging, as they discuss the finer points of literature, the creative process, and the challenges of writing.
In conclusion, Genius is a well-crafted, engaging, and insightful movie that offers a fascinating glimpse into the lives of some of the most influential writers of the 20th century. The movie features a talented cast, exquisite production design, and sharp dialogue, making it a must-see for anyone interested in literature, history, and the creative process.
Genius is a 2016 history movie with a runtime of 1 hour and 44 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.5 and a MetaScore of 56.