Genius [2016] ★★★

 Genius-Movie-PosterGenius doesn’t even begin to describe Jude Law’s performance as Thomas Wolfe, the American writer whose manuscripts were rejected by many publishers in New York in the 1920’s, before his unlikely partnership with editor Maxwell Perkins (Colin Firth, in fine form) led to critically acclaimed books. Law’s performance is all the more impressive because of Wolfe’s difficult nature: how do you convincingly portray someone who is so good at what he does, but also happens to be self-destructive? Director Michael Grandage has done a good job in bringing this intriguing story to life and he chose just the right actors for the job (including Nicole Kidman and Laura Linney). The look and feel of New York in the 20’s and 30’s are vividly realized by production designer Mark Digby. The setting and time period are important ingredients in the story and they seem organic. But the less you know about Wolfe the more surprises lie in store for you. Grandage may have told his story in straightforward fashion, but much like “Trumbo” earlier this year, it won me over completely.

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