Hemingway's Garden of Eden (2010)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

Produced for Tranquil Seas by Lorne Thyssen and Timothy J. Lewiston, directed by John Irvin and starring Mena Suvari, Jack Huston, Caterina Murino, Carmen Maura, Richard E. Grant and Matthew Modine, "Hemingway's Garden Of Eden" was adapted from the Ernest Hemingway book by former Paris Review editor James Scott Linville. The book was published posthumously and, when it finally hit the bookstores in 1986, it was an immediate success. It remains one of Hemingway's most debated novels. Set in the … More

Rating: R (for strong sexual content, nudity and some language)
Genre: Drama
Directed By:
Written By: James Scott Linville
In Theaters:
On DVD: Mar 15, 2011
Box Office: $22.1k
Roadside Attractions - Official Site


as Catherine Bourne

as David Bourne

as Madame Aurol

as Colonel Boyle

as David's Father

as Young Davey

as Patron/Waiter

as Monsieur Jean

as Vladimir

as Girl Onlooker

as Ritz Waiter

as Waiter #2

as Rotund Woman

as Man in Crowd
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Hemingway's Garden of Eden

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Critic Reviews for Hemingway's Garden of Eden

All Critics (23) | Top Critics (7)

It just seems like a bunch of actors playing dress-up.

Full Review… | December 10, 2010
Dallas Morning News
Top Critic

Everybody flirts with everyone else as director John Irvin pours on a level of shopping-mall-gift-shop-kitsch that would shame Wayne Newton.

Full Review… | December 10, 2010
New York Post
Top Critic

Better than it might have been yet still a definite letdown, a literary B-side turned into something not awful, just forgettable.

Full Review… | December 9, 2010
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

Ms. Suvari's Catherine is so extravagantly monstrous that Mr. Huston's David, who provides a desultory narration, comes across as an inert nonentity.

Full Review… | December 9, 2010
New York Times
Top Critic

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.

Full Review… | December 9, 2010
AV Club
Top Critic

Vet British helmer John Irvin's mannered, bloodless and appallingly thesped filmization of Hemingway's posthumous novel, though unlikely to set the author rolling in his grave, may still have viewers rolling in the aisles.

Full Review… | December 9, 2010
Top Critic

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.

Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer


Consider me in the minority, but I actually really enjoyed this film. The acting fits better than I had originally thought and it works on the perfect period piece level of looking and feeling out of this century.

Christopher Haskell

Super Reviewer


This movie was hard to relate to as life is nothing like this anymore. The cast was good, but overall the story was lacking.

Heather Metzger

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