Ulysses - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Ulysses Reviews

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½ June 21, 2013
Total crap like the book!
½ June 6, 2013
The novel has long been thought to be unfilmable, an opinion which I tend to agree with. Joyce's novel was as much about the undefinable workings of his characters' minds as it was about their actions, if not more so. However, to the extent that Ulysses provides the visual journey of Joyce's characters on their odyssey through Dublin, the film is triumphant. There are little things that kill the atmosphere (like a speedboat visible in the opening sequence), but overall it's great fun to watch.
½ November 5, 2012
A piece of cultural history, for sure. The best known (albeit still slightly obscure) filmed version of the greatest novel of the 20th century and probably all time. This low-budget art film is faithful to the words of James Joyce and allows the images, accompanied with narration, to make up the stream of consciousness. Virtually anyone who hasn't read the novel will be confused and probably hate it, but I've been studying it for almost two years, and I found a lot to enjoy in this film.
June 12, 2012
...What on earth did I just watch?

I have a relaxation thing I do when I'm trying to go to sleep: I listen to an audio dramatization of something or other. As I listen, I create mental pictures of the scenario being acted out, but make everything as ridiculously literal as possible. If one of the characters tells the other, "You're like a lion," I adjust my mental image to make that person a literal lion. This engages my brain just enough that I don't wander off and start obsessing about my day (which is what keeps me awake the most at night) but not enough that I stay focused on it, and I drift off to sleep.

Watching this movie was surreal, because that was what happened. Every metaphor was shown to us in literal form on the screen, especially once it hit the section with the hallucinations/dreams/whatever the heck those were. But what is a relaxing mental exercise in my mind is creepy and bizarre and awkward to follow visually in a movie. That point is when the movie lost me. I was mildly interested in the story up until that point, and then I got almost 30 minutes of rambling dream sequence. That finally ended, but the movie never really won back my trust or my interest.
November 8, 2011
Took me 30 mins to key into the film but at the point when it feels like its going to fall apart it clicks into place. A great film.
October 3, 2011
looks nice but a bit flawed
October 3, 2011
Looks pretty awesome, with little flaws.
Super Reviewer
June 13, 2010
Attempting to adapt the unadaptable is certainly folly in the making but I am certainly curious.
½ July 27, 2009
To attempt an adaptation of Joyce's novel is admirable but quixotic. The only way I can imagine the book done justice would be in an HBO-type miniseries, each chapter being an hour-long (at least) installment from a different famous director. Strick's movie cannot hope to capture the experience of the book, but then again anyone who appreciates Joyce enough to attempt a serious adaptation is probably too smart for the movies anyway.
January 15, 2009
is it there somewhere?
December 21, 2008
It's not going to win any awards or ever be on anyone's list of greatest films of all time. But it strikes me as being pretty faithful to the book, even including (all of?) Molly Bloom's chapter-long stream-of-conscious monologue, which takes up at least one-fifth of the film's running time. Not a bad attempt at filming a novel that is utterly impossible to film.
November 28, 2008
James Joyce's unfilmable novel is brought to the screen in this interesting but flawed movie.
Super Reviewer
September 8, 2008
nominated for best picture by NBR and nominated for best foreign film at the golden globes
July 30, 2008
And I thought that nothing would turn me off marriage more than Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?...

I haven't read all of Ulysses yet, but any attempt to film it is quite audacious. The movie succeeds at its own level, and reminds me of 8 1/2 in several stylistic ways.

BTW, Flixster's synopsis may be the worst ever.
May 8, 2008
Admirable adaptation of the unfilmable novel. Whilst more attention is paid to some parts than others, the literary effects are conveyed effectively in the second half of the film.
April 22, 2008
For the most part the pace is (relatively) lucid, which doesn't really tie it in to the hectic and ambiguous structure of the book, still, for such a pandora's box of a novel to fit so comfortably on to film, all those involved can be entirely satisfied with their contributions.
½ April 11, 2008
though the very idea is completely absurd, if you're going to make a film version of Ulysses you could do a whole lot worse. it mostly focuses on two episodes (the dirty ones) but i was entertained, though i can't say how satisfying this would be to someone who hasn't read the book.
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