Hemingway's Garden of Eden (2010)
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as Catherine Bourne
as David Bourne
as Madame Aurol
as Colonel Boyle
as David's Father
as Young Davey
as Monsieur Jean
as Girl Onlooker
as Ritz Waiter
as Waiter #2
as Rotund Woman
as Man in Crowd
Critic Reviews for Hemingway's Garden of Eden
It just seems like a bunch of actors playing dress-up.
Everybody flirts with everyone else as director John Irvin pours on a level of shopping-mall-gift-shop-kitsch that would shame Wayne Newton.
Better than it might have been yet still a definite letdown, a literary B-side turned into something not awful, just forgettable.
Ms. Suvari's Catherine is so extravagantly monstrous that Mr. Huston's David, who provides a desultory narration, comes across as an inert nonentity.
The dialogue and plot in Garden Of Eden are rendered clearly and precisely, without a lot of fine shading. The result is a movie that's all surface... all silly, silly surface.
Audience Reviews for Hemingway's Garden of Eden
A writer and his wife take up with an Italian woman, and the three form an odd love triangle filled with lust and temptation. Garden of Eden confuses me. I haven't read the novel, but after the film, I want to. From what I can tell from the film, it seems like a first draft -- ideas that Papa plays with but hasn't developed into real characters yet. As Catherine transforms herself and her husband into carbon copies and as Catherine expresses her sexual obsession with Marita, it seems like Hemingway is exploring the slippery nature of sexuality -- how one can experiment with one's sexual identity. But what Hemingway specifically says about this concept remains unclear. It's doubtless that the story David writes -- told in flashbacks starring Matthew Modine -- is a mess. It's Hemingway's fantasies about manhood expressed through hunting and domination over nature. But this story has little to do with the frame story and doesn't give us any significant insight into David's character. Overall, I wonder if the novel is this incomplete because although the film has the beginnings of some interesting additions to Hem's oeuvre, it ultimately doesn't amount to much.
This movie was hard to relate to as life is nothing like this anymore. The cast was good, but overall the story was lacking.
Ernest Hemingway's novel 'Garden of Eden' was published posthumously (25 years or so after the author's death) and after the film adaptation was made it set on a shelf for a few years before somebody found a worthy-enough reason to release it (I don't know what that worthy reason would be as the film is frightfully awful and I can find nothing redeeming with it whatsoever). The film's title lets the audience in on the secret that it is BEYOND bad as its director, John Irvin (Widow's Peak, Hamburger Hill), tried to salvage the wreck and give it some prestige by emblazoning poor Ernest's last name before the title of this trashy piece of junk. David Bourne (Jack Huston - Outlander, Factory Girl, 'Shrooms) is a young, American writer living in Paris who hasn't found much success with his pen when he meets his future wife Catherine (Mena Suvari - American Beauty, American Pie, Domino) -- a wealthy, restless, adventuresome, domineering troublemaker whom is EXTREMELY un-likable (three minutes into the film I hated her ... how Mr. Bourne pursues her and than marries her is beyond comprehension). She pouts and whines and cries and bullies and invents bedroom role-playing scenarios that are disturbing to say th least. On an extended honeymoon in Spain, the pair inhabit a rather isolated cottage complete with a few supporting characters (oh -- "the help") that allow Catherine to manipulate and test her husband's devotion. Thirty-minutes into the film you realize you can care less about ALL of it ... and I just waited for it to be over. The movie has a very B-movie feel to it and parts of it play-out like cheap skinemax erotica-wannabe. To avoid even harsher criticism, I'll simply conclude with "there is nothing good here" -- that way one can this out to be as bad as he/she wishes.
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