Set Fire To The Stars Reviews

  • Jan 29, 2019

    Excellent film! Celyn Jones portrays Dylan Thomas perfectly!!

    Excellent film! Celyn Jones portrays Dylan Thomas perfectly!!

  • Jan 28, 2019

    This is a thoughtful film about a complex poet who struggled with his bad-boy reputation. I went to see it one evening out of interest in Dylan Thomas. The performance has stuck with me more than most films iï¿ 1/2(TM)ve seen. Elijah Wood plays John Brinnen, the academic who brings Thomas to the US, and struggles to contain a star that is burning brightly, but not for much longer. Itï¿ 1/2(TM)s a sensitive performance from Wood. Celyn Jones plays Thomas, and wrote the screenplay. Thomas was a larger than life character who played up a celebrity character the world wanted to see. Jones plays this part well, but it is always a struggle to play your heroes, especially in biopics where we can be confined by the settled dust. This is a film made on a small budget, but it has big heart. It has a Hollywood star, very much outside Hollywood, involved in playing the part of someone trying to deal with the clash between reality and celebrity. It has some good character performances, particularly by Shirley Henderson and Kelly Reilly. Iï¿ 1/2(TM)m a fan of Dylan Thomas, and wasnï¿ 1/2(TM)t sure iï¿ 1/2(TM)d Enjoy this, but was surprised as it focussed on a specific event in time and space where his world was falling apart. I rarely watch a film in the cinema more than once, but Iï¿ 1/2(TM)ve seen this twice. The first time because it was about Dylan Thomas; the second because it was an interesting film. I recommend it, and watch it a couple of times.

    This is a thoughtful film about a complex poet who struggled with his bad-boy reputation. I went to see it one evening out of interest in Dylan Thomas. The performance has stuck with me more than most films iï¿ 1/2(TM)ve seen. Elijah Wood plays John Brinnen, the academic who brings Thomas to the US, and struggles to contain a star that is burning brightly, but not for much longer. Itï¿ 1/2(TM)s a sensitive performance from Wood. Celyn Jones plays Thomas, and wrote the screenplay. Thomas was a larger than life character who played up a celebrity character the world wanted to see. Jones plays this part well, but it is always a struggle to play your heroes, especially in biopics where we can be confined by the settled dust. This is a film made on a small budget, but it has big heart. It has a Hollywood star, very much outside Hollywood, involved in playing the part of someone trying to deal with the clash between reality and celebrity. It has some good character performances, particularly by Shirley Henderson and Kelly Reilly. Iï¿ 1/2(TM)m a fan of Dylan Thomas, and wasnï¿ 1/2(TM)t sure iï¿ 1/2(TM)d Enjoy this, but was surprised as it focussed on a specific event in time and space where his world was falling apart. I rarely watch a film in the cinema more than once, but Iï¿ 1/2(TM)ve seen this twice. The first time because it was about Dylan Thomas; the second because it was an interesting film. I recommend it, and watch it a couple of times.

  • Jan 28, 2019

    One of my favourite films. An unexpected joy. Wonderful acting, writing, direction, cinematography & a fabulous soundtrack

    One of my favourite films. An unexpected joy. Wonderful acting, writing, direction, cinematography & a fabulous soundtrack

  • Jun 07, 2018

    Doesn't Exactly Wash Well. The Stylised Telling Of Poetry Mixed With Thought-Pieces On Life, The Manoosha Of It All, Does Well.. But It Is A Slothful Blur Of Mish-Mashed Ideas. It Serves Well As Fodder For Film-School Analytics With Little To Go On Other Than Camera-Work & Editing, As The Acting Isn't Noteworthy At All.

    Doesn't Exactly Wash Well. The Stylised Telling Of Poetry Mixed With Thought-Pieces On Life, The Manoosha Of It All, Does Well.. But It Is A Slothful Blur Of Mish-Mashed Ideas. It Serves Well As Fodder For Film-School Analytics With Little To Go On Other Than Camera-Work & Editing, As The Acting Isn't Noteworthy At All.

  • Jan 28, 2016

    Set Fire to the Stars FullMovie Download Now => http://zalva-cinema.cf/play.php?id=3455740

    Set Fire to the Stars FullMovie Download Now => http://zalva-cinema.cf/play.php?id=3455740

  • Nov 12, 2015

    Boring but solid performance.

    Boring but solid performance.

  • Sep 15, 2015

    This is far better than a 56% movie; the rating here at the time of this review. It is coolly and stylishly shot; while shot through with coolly stylish performances.

    This is far better than a 56% movie; the rating here at the time of this review. It is coolly and stylishly shot; while shot through with coolly stylish performances.

  • Sep 02, 2015

    Good performance from Celyn Jones, otherwise pretty lackluster.

    Good performance from Celyn Jones, otherwise pretty lackluster.

  • May 28, 2015

    I had trouble staying awake during this film about Dylan Thomas on a reading tour. I almost went gentle into that good night.

    I had trouble staying awake during this film about Dylan Thomas on a reading tour. I almost went gentle into that good night.

  • Jul 22, 2014

    "You can tear a poem apart to see what makes it technically tick... You're back with the mystery of having been moved by words. The best craftsmanship always leaves holes and gaps in the works of the poem so that something that is not in the poem can creep, crawl, flash, or thunder in." Dylan Thomas Reminiscent of Christopher Munch's Lennon/Epstein double header "The Hours and Times" and Simon Curtis' more recent "My week with Marilyn" Set Fire To The Stars details the relationship between Welsh poet Dylan Thomas (Celyn Jones) and the literary professor John Brinnin (Elijah Wood) who brings him to perform in New York. Brinnin is clearly unprepared for what he is about to unleash and overconfident of his ability to keep Thomas under control. Leaving behind a trial of destruction and deconstruction Thomas allows Brinnin to see that poetry is about more than technique but about feeling and living and being. Many reviews of this film have mentioned Shirley Henderson's performance as Shirley Jackson and it is true that this is a tour de force and it is perhaps more in keeping with what some were expecting from Celyn Jones' performance as Dylan Thomas. But these are the same critics who have clearly thought "drunk tortured artist spends time in cabin" and cast Thomas and Brinnin (Elijah Wood) as the new Withnail and I. Henderson's drunken horror writer comes closest to that vision but 90 minutes of a Richard E Grant impersonation would have been too much and to be quite honest Dylan Thomas deserves better. Luckily he gets that from Jones. It would have been easy for him to have slipped into caricature as the drunken man child or tortured genius but he goes beyond that. He brings Thomas to life and gives us a man who is clearly troubled but who is also brimming full with warmth and passion. This is a Thomas who understands the fleeting nature of it all and doesn't want to waste a moment often to the detriment of those around him. Someone who is almost painfully aware of his gift with words but who is too fearful to examine exactly what he has in case it disappears as a result. Thomas is clearly the best and worse kind of drunk. The kind you love to be with because you don't know what will happen next but who you need to get away from for exactly the same reason. Jones shows us that unpredictability perfectly. When Brinnin asks one too many questions about poetical technique he goes from laughter to a face twisted with rage in an instant. When the learned academics make him their performing monkey you see the moment wonderfully when enough is enough and the decision is made by Thomas to press the self destruct button. But as well we see in Jones' performance the regrets and fears that Dylan had to live with because of his behavior as well as the understanding of the power his words carried. "Tell him Dylan Thomas thinks he's great" he suggest to Brinnin when reviewing the work of one of his students; knowing that sometimes less really is more. While Thomas is about the joy of the words (demonstrated best by the look of pure joy which fills his face when Jackson finishes her tale of horror) Elijah Wood's Brinnin is about wanting to know why those words were chosen in the first place. The success of Lord of the Rings has clearly given Wood the freedom to pick roles that interest him and which are far removed from his most well known as Frodo and John Malcolm Brinnin is no exception. His performance is subtle but with the massiveness of Thomas next to him it needs to be. It would have been easy for Brinnin to simply be the straight man, the academic clearly out of his depth and picking up the pieces left in Thomas' wake but the character goes deeper than that. Wood's Brinnin isn't just hanging on for the ride, he is very much part of it and his character develops throughout. He goes from wanting to protect his career to protecting his friend. In what is very much a two hander the other actors are on the screen only briefly but each makes an impact. The acting across the board is of a particularly high class. Again reviewers have mentioned Kelly Reilly who emerges nymph like from Dylan's self consciousness but mention should also be made of Kevin Eldon as Shirley's cuckolded husband Stanley, Steven Mackintosh as Brinnin's boss Jack and an exceptional turn from Richard Brake as the mysterious "Mr Unlucky." The script written by Jones and Goddard is loosely based upon Brinnin's 1957 "Dylan Thomas in America." How loosely becomes apparent when you pick a copy of the book up. The film covers no more that the first 30 pages of 300. The meeting with Shirley Jackson for example is one brief paragraph. The integral letter from Thomas' wife Caitlin mentioned in no more than a couple of sentences. Drunken exploits are referred to in Brinnin's book but never expanded upon. Yet from these bare bones Jones and Goddard have produced a script which is clever, witty and moving. The quality of the acting obviously helps but those words have got to come from somewhere and it is remarkable that so much of the story is a fiction. Visually as well Set Fire To The Stars  is stunning. This film is a snapshot of a moment of Thomas' life and the cinematography reflects that; capturing beautiful moments in crisp black and white. Images which wouldn't look out of place in a 1950's Life magazine photo spread. New York in the snow, boating on a lake in New England, the foreboding halls of Harvard. Every inch of the screen is filled, nothing is wasted. A wonderful overhead shot of Dylan in the bath, fully clothed and surrounded by floating candy wrappers would no doubt be his next album cover if he were alive today. Accompanying the images is Gruff Rhys wonderful soundtrack. The new breed of Welsh poet. There are other reasons to admire and love this film but to mention them almost feels like one is making apologies and excuses for it. For a lesser film if you heard that it was a debut feature film for the writers, director and lead actor or that it was shot in less than two weeks on a tiny budget and was filmed entirely on location in Swansea, Wales you would think... "That explains it" but with Set Fire to the Stars it is just another reason to be stunned by what has been achieved.

    "You can tear a poem apart to see what makes it technically tick... You're back with the mystery of having been moved by words. The best craftsmanship always leaves holes and gaps in the works of the poem so that something that is not in the poem can creep, crawl, flash, or thunder in." Dylan Thomas Reminiscent of Christopher Munch's Lennon/Epstein double header "The Hours and Times" and Simon Curtis' more recent "My week with Marilyn" Set Fire To The Stars details the relationship between Welsh poet Dylan Thomas (Celyn Jones) and the literary professor John Brinnin (Elijah Wood) who brings him to perform in New York. Brinnin is clearly unprepared for what he is about to unleash and overconfident of his ability to keep Thomas under control. Leaving behind a trial of destruction and deconstruction Thomas allows Brinnin to see that poetry is about more than technique but about feeling and living and being. Many reviews of this film have mentioned Shirley Henderson's performance as Shirley Jackson and it is true that this is a tour de force and it is perhaps more in keeping with what some were expecting from Celyn Jones' performance as Dylan Thomas. But these are the same critics who have clearly thought "drunk tortured artist spends time in cabin" and cast Thomas and Brinnin (Elijah Wood) as the new Withnail and I. Henderson's drunken horror writer comes closest to that vision but 90 minutes of a Richard E Grant impersonation would have been too much and to be quite honest Dylan Thomas deserves better. Luckily he gets that from Jones. It would have been easy for him to have slipped into caricature as the drunken man child or tortured genius but he goes beyond that. He brings Thomas to life and gives us a man who is clearly troubled but who is also brimming full with warmth and passion. This is a Thomas who understands the fleeting nature of it all and doesn't want to waste a moment often to the detriment of those around him. Someone who is almost painfully aware of his gift with words but who is too fearful to examine exactly what he has in case it disappears as a result. Thomas is clearly the best and worse kind of drunk. The kind you love to be with because you don't know what will happen next but who you need to get away from for exactly the same reason. Jones shows us that unpredictability perfectly. When Brinnin asks one too many questions about poetical technique he goes from laughter to a face twisted with rage in an instant. When the learned academics make him their performing monkey you see the moment wonderfully when enough is enough and the decision is made by Thomas to press the self destruct button. But as well we see in Jones' performance the regrets and fears that Dylan had to live with because of his behavior as well as the understanding of the power his words carried. "Tell him Dylan Thomas thinks he's great" he suggest to Brinnin when reviewing the work of one of his students; knowing that sometimes less really is more. While Thomas is about the joy of the words (demonstrated best by the look of pure joy which fills his face when Jackson finishes her tale of horror) Elijah Wood's Brinnin is about wanting to know why those words were chosen in the first place. The success of Lord of the Rings has clearly given Wood the freedom to pick roles that interest him and which are far removed from his most well known as Frodo and John Malcolm Brinnin is no exception. His performance is subtle but with the massiveness of Thomas next to him it needs to be. It would have been easy for Brinnin to simply be the straight man, the academic clearly out of his depth and picking up the pieces left in Thomas' wake but the character goes deeper than that. Wood's Brinnin isn't just hanging on for the ride, he is very much part of it and his character develops throughout. He goes from wanting to protect his career to protecting his friend. In what is very much a two hander the other actors are on the screen only briefly but each makes an impact. The acting across the board is of a particularly high class. Again reviewers have mentioned Kelly Reilly who emerges nymph like from Dylan's self consciousness but mention should also be made of Kevin Eldon as Shirley's cuckolded husband Stanley, Steven Mackintosh as Brinnin's boss Jack and an exceptional turn from Richard Brake as the mysterious "Mr Unlucky." The script written by Jones and Goddard is loosely based upon Brinnin's 1957 "Dylan Thomas in America." How loosely becomes apparent when you pick a copy of the book up. The film covers no more that the first 30 pages of 300. The meeting with Shirley Jackson for example is one brief paragraph. The integral letter from Thomas' wife Caitlin mentioned in no more than a couple of sentences. Drunken exploits are referred to in Brinnin's book but never expanded upon. Yet from these bare bones Jones and Goddard have produced a script which is clever, witty and moving. The quality of the acting obviously helps but those words have got to come from somewhere and it is remarkable that so much of the story is a fiction. Visually as well Set Fire To The Stars  is stunning. This film is a snapshot of a moment of Thomas' life and the cinematography reflects that; capturing beautiful moments in crisp black and white. Images which wouldn't look out of place in a 1950's Life magazine photo spread. New York in the snow, boating on a lake in New England, the foreboding halls of Harvard. Every inch of the screen is filled, nothing is wasted. A wonderful overhead shot of Dylan in the bath, fully clothed and surrounded by floating candy wrappers would no doubt be his next album cover if he were alive today. Accompanying the images is Gruff Rhys wonderful soundtrack. The new breed of Welsh poet. There are other reasons to admire and love this film but to mention them almost feels like one is making apologies and excuses for it. For a lesser film if you heard that it was a debut feature film for the writers, director and lead actor or that it was shot in less than two weeks on a tiny budget and was filmed entirely on location in Swansea, Wales you would think... "That explains it" but with Set Fire to the Stars it is just another reason to be stunned by what has been achieved.