Hemingway & Gellhorn

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(2012) ★★

Sky Arts: Thursday 12 November, 9pm

The Right Stuff director Philip Kaufman sauntered down the wrong path with his heavy-handed literary adaptations The Unbearable Lightness of Being and Henry & June, and he’s back with another one: a gimmicky, digitally manipulated fiction focused on the tempestuous relationship between A Farewell to Arms author Ernest Hemingway and Collier’s magazine war correspondent Martha Gellhorn, shakily embodied by Clive Owen and Nicole Kidman, neither of whom can quite sustain their accents over the generous running time.

We learn little about ‘Papa’ Hemingway beyond the fact that he was so butch he typed standing up. As for Gellhorn, she was even tougher than him: “We were good in war – and when there was no war, we made our own.” Stylistically, it’s a Forrest Gump mess, constantly switching between scratchy sepia ‘newsreel’ footage, black-and-white and colour, which only serves to emphasies the artificiality of the enterprise.

Sorely lacking the panache Steven Soderbergh brings to The Knick, it all looks about as authentic as Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow as Owen and Kidman come on like Bogart and Bacall. It’s not so much Under Fire as under par. Plenty of pressure here, precious little grace.

Certificate: 15

Duration: 142min

IMDB – Hemingway & Gellhorn

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Rotten Tomatoes – Hemingway & Gellhorn

Other Showings Time & Date
Sky Arts 1 Monday, 16 November at 12:00AM