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51 of 52 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not for fans of Dylan
I held off seeing this for a long time, because I suspected it would be awful. I'm not a fan of Miller or Knightley, and often feel like the only person in the world who didn't think Atonement was all that. But I was rather pleasently surprised by this. It's a slow-burner, and you'll probably think about it for a few days after watching before you realise you like it...
Published on 4 Dec 2008 by J. Styles

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Slow moving and unlikeable characters
The film documents Dylan Thomas's life through the second war world from London to Wales focussing on his relationship with his wife (Sienna Miller) and a childhood friend you reappears in his life (Keira Knightly). The film rather jumps into things with the reappearance of Knightly with little scene setting or reference to their earlier lives. Without telling the whole...
Published on 19 Jan 2009 by John M


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51 of 52 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not for fans of Dylan, 4 Dec 2008
By 
J. Styles (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Edge Of Love [DVD] (DVD)
I held off seeing this for a long time, because I suspected it would be awful. I'm not a fan of Miller or Knightley, and often feel like the only person in the world who didn't think Atonement was all that. But I was rather pleasently surprised by this. It's a slow-burner, and you'll probably think about it for a few days after watching before you realise you like it. Knightley pulls off a pretty convincing Welsh accent, which, as a native, was important for me. Miller was also pleasant to watch, I don't think she's ever seemed this warm in the media before. She can't do an Irish accent though, and thankfully doesn't try very much. Matthew Rhys smoulders away and thank goodness the boy's pretty, since Dylan in real life looked like a sweaty, overgrown schoolboy and it's hard to see what women saw in him. The film doesn't shy away from showing the more abusive side of the artistic personality either, and though you might not like Dylan you can't deny the character is realistic. Cillian Murphey manages to do a lot with the little screen time he's given.

So far, so good, but it's about fifteen minutes into the film that I realised why this film got such a bad press. For some reason it was presented in many circles as a Dylan biopic, whereas the poet plays only a marginal part in the dynamic of this film. What it's really about is the touching but at times claustrophobic friendship of two women under extreme circumstances. At first you wonder what Vera and Caitlin could have in common; the former is reserved and cautious, while the latter is flamboyant and uninhibeted. Their friendship evolves not because of the things they have in common, but because of the men they've loved and the times they live in. Men in general, and serious scholars, will loathe the bath-sharing, touchy-feely tone but most women can recall a short-lived but intense friendship with another woman and will find it both soothing and compelling.
By the way, much has been made of the suggestion of lesbian overtones between the two women, but I can't see it. Many men are indeed sometimes confused by the immediate and intimate bonds that can spring up between women, and often assume it must be sexual, but only rairly is this the case.

Where the film really excells is in it's depiction of the turmoil of wartime British society. The rushed marriage of Vera and William would have happened all over Britain as young people faced with the real possibility of death threw themselves into enjoying life. That bittersweet joy that verges on hysteria is present throughout the opening scenes of the film. And as happened again and again, husbands and wives united after long seperation only to find each other unrecognizable, and resented each other for it. In addition the clothes are pretty, the music authentic (Knightley isn't a terrible singer, though her miming is pretty off) and the windswept Welsh coastline has never looked more romantic. You can almost taste the salt wind, and shiver in sympathy as the characters crowd together in their wood and asbestos prefabs.

In conclusion,this is probably not a film that will appeal to many men. It's definately not for fans of Dylan's poetry, who will find the muddled chronology irritating and will feel they've walked into the wrong film. On the other hand it's visually arresting, sensitive and compelling. It's perfect for those who enjoyed Sophia Copolla's Marie Antoinette, though it has more substance. I'd recommend it for a grown-up girl's night in, or a lazy sunday afternoon when it's raining outside.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Three's company, four's a crowd, 18 Dec 2009
By 
OEJ - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Edge Of Love [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Set partly in the Blitz in London of 1940, and later in the relative safety of the Welsh coastal countryside, this brings together the charismatic and womanising poet Dylan Thomas with two women: his first love Vera for whom he still harbours desire, and his wife Caitlin who Vera had known nothing of. Somewhat unlikely, then, that the two women should strike up a friendship but that's what they do, among the occasional bombs dropped on the city by the Luftwaffe. It's not long before handsome Captain Killick enters the equation, marries Vera but gets whisked away on what proves to be a lengthy call of duty. That's not before Killick manages to father a child, and Vera and son go to Wales with Dylan Thomas and his wife Caitlin, a woman who partly supports the pair of them by prostitution, but they also hang onto the financial security of the absent Killick and new mother Vera, he with a regular army income. Perhaps a fair chunk of that cash goes to buying cigarettes, because these people seem to be smoking constantly throughout the entire film.

This is a DVD that is only made special by its full-screen Blu-Rayness. From a high-definition point of view, this is really good, one of the best I have seen. From the very first frame, when Vera (Kiera Knightly) sings 'Underneath a blue Tahitian moon', I knew this was a little bit special, with superbly rich colours and fabulous detail - I felt that I could count the number of follicles in each of her eyebrows, her lipstick shone brightly and her teeth were perfectly white - and I do mean much more so than in a 576P standard-def version. Within seconds I realised that this is a DVD worth viewing on the latest and most sophisticated equipment, that it will show it off to its best. Now, having seen the film in its entirety, that view has not changed. For once, too, the sound quality was of a really high standard, with excellent depth of field and accurate placement on the screen. From a technical perspective, then, this is first-class.

It's a shame, then, that the film itself doesn't match all the high-tech success. Basically, it was hard to really care for anybody in particular - and since this is a film with just four main characters, at least two of whom are on-screen at all times, this is a critical failing. It's hard to say whether it's down to the acting, the directing or the casting, maybe it's a little of all three, but for large portions of the film I felt detached from the story and I was distracted by the outstanding cinematography. Dylan Thomas comes over, assuming this is an accurate portrayal, as rather a dislikable character; although plenty of time is allowed for his poetry, it's his real-life persona that shines...or rather, it doesn't. He drinks and smokes constantly, he beds every woman in sight, he penny-pinches off his friends and he invokes no appeal whatsoever. On the other hand, he doesn't come over as utterly hateful either, so in a nutshell he doesn't really stir the emotions much.

But the same could be said of the other three. Vera is a talented singer (and Kiera Knightley too, it should be said), but there's little else to her personality to make her special. Caitlin is the most unpredictable of the four, with very sudden mood swings, but again it's difficult to latch onto her and really care for her. She's a prostitute and she takes financial advantage of her two friends, and there doesn't appear to be much good in her heart. Finally there's William, Vera's husband, who returns from the front line with what we would call today, in retrospect, 'Second World War Syndrome', or post-traumatic stress disorder, an affliction that I would have found very interesting personally but it was never explored in the depth that I feel it deserved. As a result we never really get under the skin of William, we don't truly share his emotional traumas despite their playing a significant part in the closing part of the film. In some ways he is the most enigmatic of the the foursome.

It's a beautiful film, for Blu-Ray aficionados an excellent choice, but that aside it's surprisingly anodyne, with slightly shallow characterisation and sometimes confusing portrayals of the not-very-complex inter-relationships between the two couples. Apparently Vera, despite being married now, still hangs on to the memories of her brief mid-teen fling with Dylan Thomas many years earlier and the suggestion is that her marriage to William is a sham, but that - to me at least - rarely if ever materialises as for the most part, even in his long absence on the front line, Vera retains her love for her husband and if anything it grows deeper. Dylan Thomas, meanwhile, ends the film unchanged from the beginning, so there is next to no development of what is supposedly the central character - although he drifts away from centre for lengthy periods.

Throughout most of the film and at its conclusion I felt unconcerned about any of the key players or any of their ultimate fates; my interest piqued when William returned from the war in Europe but this potential explosion of emotions never really materialised, at least not satisfactorily, and in the end I felt slightly short-changed. Where it scores and scores heavily however is in its HD or Blu-Ray transfer, easy to see the benefits because among the extras are some deleted scenes shot in 576P standard def and the difference was instantly obvious. Subtitles were in English only, there's a full re-run of the film with half-muted sound while the director/producers talk through it, and there's a 'gag-reel' about 5 minutes long showing some out-takes and various funny moments during shooting.

I would suggest that this film should only be bought or rented in Blu-ray. It's its strongest asset by far. Otherwise wait for it to be shown on TV.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Slow moving and unlikeable characters, 19 Jan 2009
By 
John M "John M" (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Edge Of Love [DVD] (DVD)
The film documents Dylan Thomas's life through the second war world from London to Wales focussing on his relationship with his wife (Sienna Miller) and a childhood friend you reappears in his life (Keira Knightly). The film rather jumps into things with the reappearance of Knightly with little scene setting or reference to their earlier lives. Without telling the whole story (what there was of it), DT either drinks or tries to couple with anything in sight whilst the bombs fall on London. The dialogue is often mumbled, and overlaid with the odd poetry reading which is equally difficult to hear. The characters are all rather unlikeable, and anything regarding an interesting story line only emerges towards the end as the infantry captain that Knightly's character married returns traumatised to find they've spent all his money, probably largely on booze and doing very little else. I wasn't really clear how DT managed to avoid being drafted. The film offers very little insight into the source DT's creative inspiration but focuses almost exclusively on this love triangle, and although this may be the point of the film a little more development of what drove DT would have added to the interest. Not a great endorsement for the Bohemian lifestyle of poets or as a character reference for DT. If I was the Captain, I probably would have shot him! I wouldn't recommend it if you like a strong plot line, action, or require a hearing aid.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Strange but true - well, kind of, 4 Feb 2011
This review is from: Edge Of Love [DVD] (DVD)
A film with Kiera Knightly at her best...and everyone else at their best too, great film set during the second world war - partly in London, partly in Wales. It follows the lives of four main characters and the plot, is informed by a love triangle. Without giving the whole story away, it is based on a true story involving a infamous poet and philanderer, Dylan Thomas. True it is slow but it's a film that's worth paying attention to - however if you don't like old style editing (reminded me of a film made during the 50's, pace wise) or history based films - you won't like this one, but I loved it as a thoughtful alternative to all the fast and furious box office hits.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars missed the mark by a long shot, 5 Dec 2008
This review is from: Edge Of Love [DVD] (DVD)
Sorry, but this film went straight past me and I really felt no attachment to any of the characters. Knightley wasn't bad and Miller was ok but the characters just didn't mesh well together at all and I found the whole film very uncomfortable to watch! To be honest I thought the best character was Murphy, tormented after he comes back from the war by images of his collegues murdered before his eyes. Knightley and Miller's relationship was awful, so false and painful to see. I really thought this was going to be fantastic, but it wasn't, so its a no in my good films list.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting and quite well done..., 8 April 2014
By 
Adrian Drew (UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: Edge Of Love [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
An interesting, if not finally satisfying, examination of Dylan Thomas's private life. The acting, direction, cinematography, design, score etc are all fine on this satisfactory blu ray transfer - but there's something missing to raise the film from "okay" into the realms of "must see".
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thought I would hate this..., 28 Feb 2009
By 
Celtes (wales, uk) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Edge Of Love [DVD] (DVD)
The prospect of watching Keira Knightley trying to attempt a Welsh accent was not one that inspired me to watch this film... but I was pleasantly surprised by her. (She even managed to talk some Welsh!) I actually forgot it was her that I was watching and actually found myself feeling sympathy towards the character. Matthew Rhys was also very good as Dylan. Cillian Murphy stole the show though and was absolutely wonderful throughout. The weak link for me was Sienna Miller. I thought the accent was appalling and the character weak.
I agree with other reviewers that this film deceptively isn't really about Dylan- it is about the women in his life. I found it to be a moving film and more powerful than I expected. It was a tad slow at times but the scenery and costumes were stunning.

This film was a pleasant surprise for me. Not a film you watch over and over again... but a good film nonetheless.
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23 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Journey To The Edge Of New Quay, 20 Sep 2008
By 
Mr Frank Lee Bland (Rockferry) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Edge Of Love [DVD] (DVD)
This is a great piece of film-making, with many themes simmering and occasionally boiling over in this study of the poet's wartime years that span the bombardments of London and the tranquillity of a Welsh coastal retreat . A mature, subtle script that brings into dramatic focus the underlying tensions is well served by perfect performances. But above all the excellent visual composition of each moment, with inventive and elegant use of close-up, camera angle and lighting is a wonder and joy to behold. A very rare type of film these days - it holds the attention and stirs the emotions without abandoning artistic integrity and succumbing to manipulative, superficial shortcuts.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the edge of love, 20 July 2012
By 
iris (west midlands uk) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Edge Of Love [DVD] (DVD)
i bought this dvd edge of love as i absolutley adore dylan thomas i love his poetry and i adore his love of radio and of books and most of all i adore his sense of humour his cheekiness is lovely. he seems a very sweet guy that is both curious and unsure of love its obvious he adores caitlin that shows,but vera is a complete and utter distraction to him vera and dylan are similiar in personality, but at the same time both as bad as each other its the can friends just be friends without falling in love . and in my opinion i think that dylan thinks he can have both womens affections .
matthew rhys playing the part of dylan is superb my favourite bit is when dylan falls out the rocking chair i had to rewind that bit because it made me lol so much and when you see a fun part like that straight away you know dylan is and was a fun chap and what i also loved is because i think he can go from serious to fun in an instant ! a beautiful but very moving film set in world war two showing how difficult it must have been to live through all that but indeed the star of this film is matthew rhys absolutley gorgeous a very convincing mr thomas beautifully acted a truly wonderful film a real must see !
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Better than expected, 13 Oct 2010
This review is from: Edge Of Love [DVD] (DVD)
I'll admit - I never really thought of Keira Knightley as a great actress (though I don't slate her as some others do) but I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised by her performance in 'The Edge of Love'. In this she plays a character who is very different to her previous roles - she's more down-to-earth, easier to relate to.This, to me is, by far her best performance. The rest of the cast are also very good, especially Cillian Murphy as Keira Knightley's husband.
'The Edge of Love' is based (loosely) on the life of Dylan Thomas (Matthew Rhys) and the friendship between his wife, Caitlin (Sienna Miller) and his childhood sweetheart, Vera (Keira Knightley). Cillian Murphy stars as William, Vera's soldier husband. The film is set during the turbulent era of the Second World War.
Though Keira Knightley is very good in this film, she gets way too much screen time (perhaps as she is the most well-known cast member and her mother wrote the script for the film, plus she has worked ith John Maybury, the director, previously). Whatever the reason, there is,disappointingly, very little Dylan Thomas on focus. Considering that the film focuses on his romances with both his wife and Vera, which gradually tears the women's friendship apart, very little time is given to Dylan and Vera's relationship, making it hard to feel convinced by the romance.
Apart from this, the film is pretty good although there is a bemusing jump between everybody meeting each other and them all being the best of friends. There is no gradual connection, which makes the whole thing seem a little unconvincing.
Hats off to the make-up people, by the way.
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Edge Of Love [DVD]
Edge Of Love [DVD] by John Maybury (DVD - 2008)
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