The Libertine (2004)

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The Libertine: Directed by Laurence Dunmore. With Johnny Depp, Paul Ritter, John Malkovich, Stanley Townsend. The story of John Wilmot, a.k.a. the Earl of Rochester, a 17th century poet who famously drank and debauched his way to an early grave, only to earn posthumous critical acclaim for his life’s work.

“This wasnu0026#39;t a glamorized period costume drama that Hollywood loves to overdo and it wasnu0026#39;t NC-17 for nothing! There was some technical roughness and lack of continuity but they were minor quibbles in what I considered a triumph. The mood, the sets and cinematography, the script and, most of all, the acting were all of the highest and most innovative caliber. Depp was in almost every scene and was fascinating beyond anything Iu0026#39;d ever experienced. His force and range of emotion and naturalness were exceptionally powerful and moving from first to last. You hated him and loved him, were repulsed by him and felt pity for him. You were drawn to him almost against your will, like a vortex pulling you in. All else paled in comparison. This was a Johnny Depp that Iu0026#39;d never seen before but so hope I have a chance to again. This performance is the crowning glory to date of his illustrious career and I see no limits to what he can accomplish in the future. Everyone else was uniformly excellent although Samantha Morton didnu0026#39;t portray the allure the Elizabeth Barry in the play had. u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eMy primary recommendation for improving this work in progress before theatrical release center around clarifying motivations up front for why these people were the way they were. This could be done by a combination of edits and additions. I found I liked it even better and was more moved by it the second time I saw it when I wasnu0026#39;t concentrating as much on following the storyline. u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eThis was a movie I loved and canu0026#39;t get it out of my mind. It was stunning and compelling beyond anything Iu0026#39;ve seen in a very long while.”


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