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Hemingway & Gellhorn (Blu-ray Review)

7 Apr, 2013 By: Ashley Ratcliff

$19.97 DVD, $24.99 Blu-ray
Not rated.
Stars Nicole Kidman, Clive Owen, David Strathairn, Rodrigo Santoro, Molly Parker, Santiago Cabrera, Parker Posey, Lars Ulrich, Saverio Guerra, Peter Coyote, Joan Chen, Tony Shalhoub.

Ah, to be in love with a passionate, well-read, mustachioed author, with the world as your playground. Sounds exciting, right? The biopic Hemingway & Gellhorn would have you believe that wartime is the best time for lovemaking.

The film, which chronicles the legendary romance between the illustrious Ernest Hemingway (Clive Owen) and intrepid war correspondent Martha Gellhorn (Nicole Kidman), is set in the middle of the Spanish Civil War. Hemingway is there to help make a movie about the plight of the Spanish people and the evils of fascism, while Gellhorn is along for the ride, hoping to tell the intriguing stories of the men on the front lines.

Battle would prove to be a recurring motif in the engaging story about the ultimate power couple of the 1930s and ’40s. When it was good, it was really good (They complement and challenge each other, and there’s an undeniable spark between them). When it was bad, it was really bad (Hemingway has a mean streak that shows in physical abuse and infidelity).

Owen is magnetic as the literary master of his day, making for a superb portrayal of a man whose reputation precedes him. Kidman is equally mesmerizing as Hemingway’s ballsy but beautiful counterpart. I was vaguely familiar with the name Gellhorn prior to viewing the film, but by the movie’s end I got a full picture of the woman who could hold her own alongside someone as intense as Hemingway.

Hemingway & Gellhorn also scores extra points for its remarkable supporting cast, including Robert Duvall as a crazed Russian general, Tony Shalhoub as Soviet journalist Mikhail Koltsov, Lars Ulrich as Dutch filmmaker Joris Ivens, and David Strathairn as American novelist John Dos Passos.

Bonus material includes an engaging making-of featurette and a piece about the special effects employed in the film.

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