Hemingway & Gellhorn Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ June 2, 2013
My Week with Marilyn, take note: this is a much better model for a "biopic" with two protagonists. The film's not perfect - a little wooden and jumps around in its second hour - but it makes sure to tell both characters' stories in a way that shows each's impact on the other. Furthermore, to this film's credit, it flips the "Martha Gellhorn is a footnote to the great Ernest Hemingway" binary on its head, giving her the narrative voice and challenging us to entertain the notion that, given her long and successful career as a war correspondent, we might do better to think of Papa as a footnote in her life. What you get, as a result, is the story of the dynamic between two strong-willed writers and a film reminiscent of one of my much-neglected favourites, Henry & June, also by Philip Kaufman. It's aptly titled, as it's truly about both people, and it's a smart and important addition to the Hemingway canon... regardless of whether it's actually "about" him.
Super Reviewer
July 31, 2013
Before we get started, I just wanna say, "Damn Nicki Kidman. DAT ASS!" Sleek and perky with no VPL. I imagine that's hard to do in the sweltering heat of Key West.

Nicole Kidman plays intrepid war correspondent Martha Gellhorn with spirit and guts. As the young woman, she proves to be Hem's literary and sexual equal but eventually realizes that his is a pride so crippling that it would recognize no equal. As the older woman, she wears the age make-up naturally and stretches her gravelly voice into an emotional frame story.

Clive Owen cuts a mean silhouette, but he is disappointing as Hemingway overall. His natural mush-mouthed British cadence gets mangled with Papa's gruff Patrician accent. I also have yet to see an actor deliver Papa's aphorisms without making him sound like a caricature. Owen's performance is not a huge problem though since this isn't so much a movie about Ernest Hemingway as it is a movie about Martha Gellhorn, who most literari know little about beyond her being Hem's third wife.

This new focus into the woman behind the man who refused to get behind a woman (except in the boudoir) is commendable and generally well-plotted. The action gets a little confusing throughout, especially due to the baseless changing of hues from sepia-tone to technicolor. The sex scenes get a bit Lifetimey too.
hunterjt13
Super Reviewer
July 20, 2013
Ernest Hemingway meets his match in the person of a fellow war correspondent, Martha Gellhorn.
Despite the order of the title, this is a film about Martha Gellhorn, and it is through the lens of her life that we explore Hemingway. It's a structure that is good in theory, and the story, though as uneven and occasionally bipolar as Hem, is not one of the film's primary problems, provided one knows a lot about the politics of the time. Rather, the film mysteriously changes color like the director's four-year-old daughter wandered into the editing room; there were a few good theories as to why the film switched from color to black and white, but the next color switch defies all reason.
In theory, Clive Owen is a good Hemingway, but the British actor's voice was off, and Owen's Hem is stronger when he's vulnerable, and his legendary bluster comes off like an actor chewing scenery rather than delivering a nuanced performance. By contrast, Nicole Kidman was fantastic, delivering one of the strongest performances of her career. Strong or vulnerable, Kidman is exceptional.
Overall, this is a mixed bag with enough flaws too noticeable to ignore.
Super Reviewer
April 22, 2013
Good, but long. I found this movie very informative. I knew nothing of Martha Gellhorn till I saw this biodrama. Hemingway lived up to his player-drunkard reputation, but a softer side of him was portrayed, as well. The supporting cast was really good, also. Nicole Kidman has quite a way with masterful facial impersonations (and has one heck of a makeup artist!). The first couple of minutes of the movie is supposed to be Martha Gellhorn in her later years, and I had no idea that it was Kidman. I eventually recognized her voice, but that was really the only give away.....
Harlequin68
Super Reviewer
June 5, 2012
"Hemingway & Gellhorn" opens with Ernest Hemingway(Clive Owen), not writing, but fishing and catching a huge specimen which is displayed in his favorite Key West bar. In walks Martha Gellhorn(Nicole Kidman) like a tall, cool glass of lemonade. Suitably impressed by her ample charms, he invites her over to his house where he is hosting a fundraiser for the Spanish Civil War, with John Dos Passos(David Strathairn) giving commentary. Suitably inspired, Hemingway announces plans to go to Spain to make a documentary to counter fascist propaganda. It is then that his wife Pauline(Molly Parker) reminds him that he is in fact married, with children and Catholic to boot and forbids him from going. Hemingway goes anyway, with Gellhorn finding her own way to Spain.

"Hemingway & Gellhorn" has a wealth of historical and personal details about its subjects at its disposal. Sadly, it does not make a great use of them, as this feels at times like little more than a bargain basement version of "Reds," nor can it measure up to Ken Loach's "Land and Freedom." In depicting the past, "Hemingway & Gellhorn" also seeks to emulate the magical age of romantic bickering in Hollywood but that kind of charm and chemistry can never be replicated. Clive Owen, butch as he is, may seem right for the role on the surface but with that mustache, glasses and beret, he makes me think much more of Groucho Marx, than either Gary Cooper or Humphrey Bogart. And in trying to be an epic, the movie is stretched to the breaking point, being just long enough for Parker Posey, of all people, to put in an appearance. I know the movie bookends with Hemingway fishing but a better start would have been in Spain with Gellhorn decamping from a tank. Now, that's how you make an entrance. In fact, since we already know so much about Hemingway, this should have been Gellhorn's movie with her long career as a war correspondent being a revelation.
½ August 30, 2014
Owen and Kidman were great together in this movie. This was an intense story about writers in love during war.
December 8, 2013
Kept me interested enough, and well made with decent performances. Nothing great on display here, but a solid little movie.
½ May 27, 2013
This movie was okay. I am a Clive Owen fan and the only time I had heard of this movie was when I was searching for movies he was in. It was interesting to see what he was like and his relationships, but I will probably not see this movie again.
April 4, 2013
la biografía de estos dos grandes de la escritura no se puede plasmar en una película pero se puede observar como era la vida de los escritores de aquel tiempo..que iban hacia la aventura y la acción para que sus ideas surgan..
½ February 17, 2015
I had heard rumors that Hemingway was misogynistic and this movie portrayed that well. Also, it drove home to me how little I knew about the man and his life. And I've never read anything by him. Something to correct in the future.
½ August 23, 2014
Glimrende film om Hemingway (Clive Owen) og hans tredje kone, krigskorrespondenten der nægtede at blive en fodnote i et andet menneskes liv, fremragende portrætteret af Nicole Kidman. En for mig ukendt filmperle (lavet af HBO til tv), som jeg tilfældigt faldt over på DR2 i går.
½ May 27, 2014
Not that good.
I wanted to like it because I wanted to learn about these people, but the acting by Owen and the directing and writing were sub-par IMO.
September 30, 2013
Loved Kidman in this, hated Clive Owen. I suspect that the actual issue, however, is that I would have hated Hemingway had a ever met him (but I love his work, go figure).
July 1, 2013
whoa.. I'm impressed with Clive and Nicole's acting. Making me believe that the real Ernest Hemingway is really that douche bag :p
April 4, 2013
I liked Hemingway till this film, now I am madly in love with this man.
Clive Owen and Nicole Kidman are incredibly portraying, you just can't stop falling in love with them.
November 8, 2012
A work of cinematic wonder meant to be empirically adored.
September 24, 2012
âLife is not long at all, never long enough, but days are very long indeed.â?
August 20, 2012
Me dejó un sinsabor... raro con la gente de HBO
August 8, 2012
Great film! A bit long but still is a great achievement!
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