A drama centered on the romance between Ernest Hemingway and WWII correspondent Martha Gellhorn, Hemingway's inspiration for For Whom the Bell Tolls and the only woman who ever asked for a divorce from the writer.
"Hemmingway" is a typical biopic with a very generic feel. Keach carries this flick on his back and his worthy costars work hard as well. However, the film never seems to dig into the psyche of the enigmatic, robust, large-living author but presents him as a two dimensional character who is all too pat. Scripted, stagey, and with the melodramatic feel of a 40's film, "Hemmingway" tells the story but can't seem to shake it's stiffness. In one scene, for example, during the Spanish Civil War, bullets crash through the window of Hem's lover's hotel room. Shaken, she gets out of bed and obviously kills time waiting for Hem to arrive. When he bolts through the door they stand right in the line of fire and embrace while we sit knowing all to well if it wasn't a movie they'd be long gone to safety. And so it goes from scene to scene, contrived and cued and missing many opportunities to show us such things as his plane crashes, his car wreck, his sub hunting, Nobel and Pulitzer benchmarks, etc. while spending it's time jumping from Paris to Pamplona to Africa to Key West to Cuba, etc. and from wife to lover to wife to lover...etc. And okay watch for those who want to learn something about Hemmingway via film even though more can be learned about the man with much less time simply by surfing the web. As for entertainment value, this one is marginal. (C+)
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