Hemingway and Gellhorn: a film hard to sit through

After having read the fantastic book Hotel Florida by Amanda Vaill, which gave a nuanced and deep portrait of both Ernest Hemingway and Martha Gellhorn during the Spanish Civil War, I was interested to watch the film Hemingway and Gellhorn with Nicole Kidman and Clive Owen. Please, please do not waste your time if you are interested in anything but a buffoonish, one dimensional, at times laughable film. I loved the subject matter and was excited to see it, so came in to it with a positive outlook wanting to like the film. What was delivered however, was a barely watchable thing, with Clive Owen seemingly playing Groucho Marx doing an over the top impersonation of Hemingway. All of the other characters were just as one dimensional with the exception of Kidman as Gellhorn and maybe that was the plan: to make her character shine. The big problem with this is that when you make all other characters so cartoonishly bad, you cannot help but greatly diminish the stature of the character you are trying to play up. So, if you are interested in the subject matter not played as bad slapstick, then I would recommend reading the book mentioned in the opening sentence.


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