DVD - 2016
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A stirring drama about the complex friendship and transformative professional relationship between book editor Maxwell Perkins (who discovered F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway) and Thomas Wolfe.


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Mar 14, 2018

Directed by Michael Grandage in 2016 based on the 1978 National Book Award-winner "Max Perkins: Editor of Genius" by A. Scott Berg, this British-American docudrama depicts the turbulent friendship between world-renowned edito Maxwell Parkins and the larger-than-life writer Thomas Wolfe.
In 1925, Thomas Wolfe met Aline Bernstein (1880–1955), a scene designer for the Theatre Guild.
Twenty years his senior, she was married to a successful stockbroker with whom she had two children.
In October 1925, she and Wolfe became lovers and remained so for five years.
Their affair was also turbulent and sometimes combative, but she exerted a powerful influence, encouraging and funding his writing.
It would be more fun if the film delved into the writer's relationship with Mrs. Bernstein.

Mar 05, 2018

I enjoyed this movie reflecting beautiful, poetic and passionate writing and the complicated relationship and friendship between the book editor and the writer. A stirring drama with great supporting actors. Sensitivity and deep emotions by Firth Colin actor made it worth it to watch. Also, good acting of Nicole Kidman.

Feb 26, 2018

Pretty good movie- I felt like this was more of a play- albeit a good one with fine actors. It is an interesting look at the novelist Thomas Wolfe and his editor Maxwell Perkins.
-from wikipedia: " Thomas Clayton Wolfe (October 3, 1900 – September 15, 1938) was an American novelist of the early twentieth century.[1]
Wolfe wrote four lengthy novels, plus many short stories, dramatic works, and novellas. He is known for mixing highly original, poetic, rhapsodic, and impressionistic prose with autobiographical writing. His books, written and published from the 1920s to the 1940s, vividly reflect on American culture and the mores of that period, filtered through Wolfe's sensitive, sophisticated, and hyper-analytical perspective. "

Feb 25, 2018

I do not remember hearing anything about this film and happened to come across it on the shelf at the library. I took a chance to see this based upon it being a true story and with the fine actors of Colin Firth, Jude Law, Nicole Kidman and Laura Linney.
The supporting actors were good as was the film. It did not make me like Thomas Wolfe, but did shed a light onto the period of his life with the publisher/editor, in the period from the late 1920's up until 1938, after the release of Thomas Wolfe's second book and of his death.
The only criticism I have of this film, is of the lack of any on screen script indicating the date of events and summary of the people covered in the film.
There was no special features to explain anything either.

Dec 08, 2017

I felt like this movie was based on a true story. The actors did an excellent job with their roles in the movie though.

Nov 09, 2017

Didn't finish. Too slow. Too choppy. Did not like. Time waster. Too much lofty language.

Sep 26, 2017

A passionate, tempestuous bromance that was nearly as destructive personally as it was productive creatively.

Sep 04, 2017

This film got rather underwhelming reviews by movie critics--largely because it claims to be a true story yet fails to stick to the book upon which it was based, making changes deemed not as interesting or relevant as what really happened. Still, I enjoyed it and it seemed fitting that Perkins, the editor responsible for "discovering" so many writers and developing their talent, finally got the recognition he deserved.

Jul 23, 2017

Very slow moving film. Boring at times. I gave up after 1/2 an hour.

May 08, 2017

Max Perkins, editor of Charles Scribner's Sons publishing firm, works with author Thomas Wolfe, helping him to become a best selling author of two novels. Since Perkins spent many months eliminating hundreds (even thousands?) of pages of excess verbiage, he asks in the film, "Does an editor help an author to improve his book or does he help the author to write a different book." I have recently read "To Kill a Mockingbird" and "To Set a Watchman," two versions of the same novel. Reading these two highly accessible novels, one can see that the editor helped the author write a largely different and improved story, as "To Set a Watchman" was a very beginning writer's novel and the editor had to dig out the real meat of the story and guide the author to write a very different, better story.

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Nov 27, 2016

"Look Homeward, Angel" draft opening in the film:
A stone, a leaf, an unfound door
of a stone, a leaf, a door.
And of all the forgotten faces.
Which of us has known his brother?
Which of us has looked into his father's heart?
Which of us has not remained forever prison-pent?
Which of us is not forever a stranger and alone?
Remembering, speechlessly we seek the great forgotten language,
the lost Lane-end into heaven,
a stone, a leaf, an unfound door.
Where? When? O lost, and by the wind grieved, ghost, come back again.

Nov 26, 2016

Unedited, or rather excerpt, "Look Homeward, Angel' book opening:
. . . a stone, a leaf, an unfound door;
of a stone, a leaf, a door.
And of all the forgotten faces.
Naked and alone we came into exile. 
In her dark womb we did not know our mother's face;
from the prison of her flesh have we come into the unspeakable and incommunicable prison of this earth.
Which of us has known his brother? 
Which of us has looked into his father's heart? 
Which of us has not remained forever prison-pent?
Which of us is not forever a stranger and alone?
O waste of loss, in the hot mazes, lost, among bright stars on this most weary unbright cinder, lost!
Remembering speechlessly we seek the great forgotten language,
the lost lane-end into heaven,
a stone, a leaf, an unfound door. 
Where?  When? O lost, and by the wind grieved, ghost, come back again.

Nov 26, 2016

Some books are supposed to be long, you know? Thank Christ Tolstoy never met you. We'd have that great novel "War and 'Nothing'."
God damn! It's the tip of the iceberg, Tom.
-You're giving me the full iceberg.
Pink is never just pink. It's a thousand other things, all profoundly important to him. All variations on his psychological state. Every image and the sound of every word matters.
-No, it doesn't.
Nonsense. They're vital!
-You're losing the plot.
-Well, what did you hear when you fell in love? What did you hear? Clattering?
The point is it was all happening inside him. His life changed, no one else in the room noticed anything.
-Then make that the point.
I hate to see the words go!
-Maybe the larger question is this. In a book crowded with great rolling mountains of prose, how is this moment profoundly different? Because it's simple. Unadorned. Like lightning.
Standing out in the black sky by its starkness.

Nov 26, 2016

Editors should be anonymous. More than that, there's always the fear that I deformed your book. Who's to say it wasn't the way it was meant to be when you first brought it in? War and peace. Not just war. ... That's what we editors lose sleep over, you know? Are we really making books better? Or just making them different?
It's one damn vacation, for Christ's sake! Louise, a writer like tom, i get one in a lifetime.
-You get your daughters for the same lifetime.
I'll tell you one thing, my friend. You wouldn't do this to Hemingway. You wouldn't do this to Fitzgerald, not to your two goddamn sacred cows! Every word they write is golden genius!

Nov 26, 2016

I've been away so long, we have to celebrate my return to the greatest of nations with all things American. I have to eat some wieners and, and walk the city and drink us some serious liquor. I mean,
can one man do it? Write his whole life story fairly? Honestly? Like proust, without all the upholstery.
This is where I wrote look homeward, angel. I would come here every twilight and look at the city and dream of what my life might be, till the stars came out. The stars in the sky. The lights in the buildings. All those lights. All the power of life.
-You're not frivolous, Tom.
I think back in the caveman days, our ancestors would huddle around the fire at night and wolves would be howling in the dark, just beyond the light. And one person would start talking. And he would tell a story, so we wouldn't be so scared in the dark.

Nov 26, 2016

I'm a writer. All I do is spend time alone.
-No, you spend time with your characters. You've never been alone.
But god help anyone who loves you, Tom. Because for all your talk and all your millions of beautiful words, you haven't the slightest idea of what it means to be alive. To look into another person's eyes and ache for him.
You're nothing but a coward! Stuck in that sterile little office. Every beautiful thing in you stunted. You don't have the first idea what it is to be alive! You don't know what it is to wake up and grab hold of life every day and fight with it. You're just so goddamn scared to live.
-There are other ways to live! There's loving your children and seeing them grow up right. There's providing for your family. There's doing work that's important and giving to other people.

Nov 26, 2016

I've been rambling around for months now. Haven't had anybody to talk to about work.
-Ah. Work.
I mean, who better to talk to? The man who created something immortal. More and more, i trouble myself with that. "The legacy." Will anyone care about Thomas Wolfe in 100 years? Ten years?
-When I was young, i asked myself that question every day. Now, I ask myself, "can I write one good sentence?"
The last time i saw my father, I was standing at a train window, when I went north to college. He just got smaller and smaller as we pulled away, until I couldn't see him anymore. That train carried me to my life. Beyond the hills and over the rivers. And always, the rivers run. Sometimes they flow away from my father and sometimes they flow back to his door. I have to prove i can do it by myself.

Nov 26, 2016

The letter ***Spoiler Alert***

I've made a long voyage and been to a strange country and I've seen the dark man very close. And I don't think I was too much afraid of him. But I want most desperately to live. I want to see you again. For there is such impossible anguish and regret for all I can never say to you, for all the work I have to do. I feel as if a great window has been opened on life. And if I come through this, I hope to god I am a better man and can live up to you. But most of all, I wanted to tell you, no matter what happens, I shall always feel about you the way I did that November day when you met me at the boat and we went on top of the building and all the strangeness and the glory and the power of life were below.


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