Top critical review
One person found this helpful
No-one can suspend their disbelief this much without the help of several riggers and a commercial scaffolding company...
on 9 August 2015
Oh dear, oh dear. I do hope that the excellent actors employed in this film were doing it for a reasonable fee, as it certainly wasn't for the challenge of a decent script or anything remotely like a mature and satisfying end result. The basic premise is daft and although actors of the stature of Romola Garai, Michael Fassbender, Sam Neil and Charlotte Rampling really try to do something with this, it's absolutely hopeless: no-one, surely, can suspend disbelief this much without the aid of several riggers and a commercial scaffolding company.
This is an absolute 'how not to do it' - and I suspect that the fault lies in the original book in which unrealistic events happen to unlikeable and cardboard characters in a relentless series of completely foreseeable 'developments'. I shan't detail them - you can write this script for yourself. Young girl writes rubbish book and it gets published (just like that) even though it is utter garbage and very badly written. Writer of sudden and huge success (why?!) meets utterly unsuitable poverty-stricken 'modern' artist - guess what happens? Mention the First World War and what do you think you'll get? Yep, that's right: the wild artist who morphs (just like that) into the wounded soldier (wounded in a mentionable place, as Siegfied Sassoon would have it) who turns to drink and violence to 'deal with' his experiences... Frightful old tosh (IMHO!) and really, don't. Just don't. You'll have to bin it, or send it to Oxfam - possibly without getting to the end.