Hemingway & Gellhorn (2012) - Biography, Drama, Romance

Hohum Score



A drama centered on the romance between Ernest Hemingway and World War II correspondent Martha Gellhorn, Hemingway's inspiration for For Whom the Bell Tolls, and the only woman who ever asked for a divorce from the writer.

IMDB: 6.3
Director: Philip Kaufman
Stars: Nicole Kidman, Clive Owen
Length: 155 Minutes
PG Rating: TV-MA
Reviews: 14 out of 53 found boring (26.41%)

One-line Reviews (29)

Excruciatingly dull .

His skepticism about art as propaganda is rejected out of hand as the result of greed or cowardice.

It's not inspiring, interesting, or fascinating.

The Truly Empty and Terrible Film .

The invasion of Czechoslovakia in The Unbearable Lightness of Being is always close in my memory--what an emotional punch.

I thought the entire film was going to play out over the civil war it dragged on so long.

As painfully bloated, tedious, and pointless as Hemingway himself.

Otherwise, this is a snooze fest.

This would get a zero if it weren't for Nicole Kidman, who occupies a poorly written Martha Gellhorn well and attempts to overcome a poorly shot, undisciplined and self-indulgent epic that is saddled with a mawkish Clive Owen as Hemingway, and other class actors doing their best to bring two dimensions (or fewer) to characters who could have been three dimensional.

Philip Kaufman who directed this long and boring mess of a film knows better (The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Twisted, etc) and the idea of reflecting on the relationship between Ernest Hemingway and Martha Gellhorn which took place during so many important historical events (Spanish Civil War in Franco's Spain, WW II complete with the Allied Invasion of Europe at Normandy Beach, the Russian Invasion of Finland, the turmoil in China as Communism rose in reaction to the Japanese invasion, the strange position of Cuba in all of this).

the first half of the movie is quite enjoyable and entertaining, like a TV show it is driven by tension of love and usually in a TV show when the love tension has been satisfied by sex or even the fact of the viewer knowing they are a couple, the show spirals into a conclusion.

as a TV show this would be great, a season of love tension, then another, then sex,marriage and true love in the second last episode of season 3, and everything in the movie that half of it was based on, that goes nowhere, somehow make it exciting and make it the final episode.

The story is boring and meandering, and never really gives you anything to sink your teeth into.

) with the Chiang Kai Sheks (portrayed in the sort of Leftist propaganda style we've become accustomed to) and then a heart-to-heart meeting with Zhou en-lai (naturally portrayed as a "nice, sincere guy") via some Communist underground hocus pocus.

Ultimately we're left with a disappointingly empty portrayal of one of the most colorful and dynamic individuals in history.

There have been already a lot of them, but I could not believe my eyes or ears that something (even a TV movie) made in 2012 and supposedly directed by Philip Kaufman(who made "The Right Stuff"), edited by Walter Murch and with a cast of several big names involved, could be so wrong, so boring, so ridiculous and so infuriating.

This time Gellhorn is covering it for Collier's magazine, while Hemingway is narrating a leftist propaganda picture.

cannot begin to understand how this expensive never ending film succeeds in gathering layers after layers of clichés, poor one liners, overacted scenes, and pointless attempts at recreating moments in history ; what Nicole Kidman, tartily dressed in various attires to make one believe she portrays a reporter, possibly achieve is giving close to nil a performance compared to Clive Owen complete tourist approach in his Hemingway role.

Gripping movie .

If I knew more of the actual history of him it may have been more interesting but it was a little slow in parts to me.

Still some insight about journalistic war time coverage comes through and there is some good use of cinema tricks and smooth transitions that helps move it all along at an entertaining clip.

Everything about the movie came off as phony, fake, contrived.

The lethargic disjointed pretense of a plot finds itself upstaged by cameras fading between monochrome and full color as well the occasional tawdry unconvincing grapple of a sex scene in lieu of actual romance.

This was a Netflix waste of my time.

The mix was confusing, ineffective, and distracting.

I don't normally comment on scripts and direction as I have little knowledge of how their contribution to a good film is best judged, however with this film it is probably safe to say that both of these factors have played a part in making this film appear stifled, contrived staged and utterly unconvincing.

The initiation and termination of their intense relationship is symbolized by an adversarial conversation through her locked or partially open hotel room door, although their relationship actually began or effectively was terminated prior to these incidents.

I have been reading about the way they were able to "nest" characters into the archival footage and it's breathtaking.

Avoid this film, it's as narcissistic and self-indulgent as Hemingway's overrated body of work and reputation.