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Genius

New York in the 1920s. Max Perkins, literary editor at Scribner’s Sons is the first to sign such subsequent literary greats as Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald. When a sprawling, chaotic 1,000-page manuscript by an unknown writer named Thomas Wolfe falls into his hands, Perkins is convinced he has discovered a literary genius. Together the two men set out to work on a version for publication and a seemingly endless struggle over every single phrase ensues. During this process, Perkins the gentle family man and Wolfe the eccentric author become close – a relationship eyed with suspicion by their wives. When ‘Look Homeward, Angel’ becomes a resounding success, the writer grows increasingly paranoid.
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WHAT ARE CRITICS SAYING?

40

The New York Times by A.O. Scott

It’s dispiriting to see a movie about interesting real-life characters reduce them to clichés, making them less vivid, less fascinating, less charismatic than they must have been.
67

The A.V. Club by Alex McCown

Genius may eventually be a little too comfortable with its own formula (unsurprising, considering its full-throated endorsement of Perkins’ traditionalist mien), but in its early going, it captures a little bit of the magic of artistic creation.
75

Washington Post by Ann Hornaday

Genius may be a bit stodgy and safe, but it tells a story of beauty — as it plays out in an improbably fruitful friendship, and as it’s discovered within vast expanses of raw language by a craftsman who was arguably an artist in his own right.
75

The Playlist by Jessica Kiang

Your mileage will vary on Genius, depending on where you place Law’s performance on the irritating/entertaining spectrum and your tolerance for somewhat formulaic tales of creative ego and “The Price of Fame.”
50

Los Angeles Times by Justin Chang

If Genius is a failure — and by the generally unilluminating standards of most mainstream movies about the creative process, I’m not entirely sure that it is — it succeeds in being a noble, even charming one.
0

New York Post by Lou Lumenick

Jude Law gives arguably the worst performance of his career as Wolfe in Genius, the ham-fisted directing debut of noted British theater figure Michael Grandage, bombastically adapted by John Logan (“Gladiator’’) from a biography by A. Scott Berg.
88

Observer by Rex Reed

Colin Firth is brilliant as the patient, uncompromising and introspective Max Perkins, and the explosive performance by Jude Law as the wild, unpredictable and tragic Thomas Wolfe is one of the greatest triumphs of his career. I was spellbound.

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