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Bloom (I) (2003)

R  |   |  Drama, Romance  |  16 April 2004 (Ireland)
5.5
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Ratings: 5.5/10 from 296 users  
Reviews: 13 user | 9 critic

Adapted from James Joyce's Ulysses, Bloom is the enthralling story of June 16th, 1904 and a gateway into the consiousness of its three main characters: Stephen Dedalus, Molly Bloom and the extraordinary Leopold Bloom.

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Title: Bloom (2003)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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...
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Neilí Conroy ...
Eoin McCarthy ...
Alvaro Lucchesi ...
Maria Hayden ...
Aideen McDonald ...
Pat McGrath ...
...
Kenneth McDonnell ...
Hugh MacDonagh ...
Andrew McGibney ...
Dan Colley ...
...
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Storyline

Fathers and sons and lovers. June, 1904. Leopold Bloom, Dublin Jew and cuckold, attends a funeral, recalls his infant son dead 11 years, faces an anti-Semite at a pub, has a phantasmagoric dream while at a brothel, feeds a drunken young poet Stephen Dedalus, bonds briefly with Stephen as if father and son, and gets into bed next to his wife Molly. Stephen spends his day teaching, talking about literature with pals, pondering Shakespeare and "Hamlet" and fatherhood, brooding on his dead mother, drinking too much, and accepting Bloom's hand. Molly, lusty Molly, recalls vividly her courtship and affirmation of Bloom. Homer's "Odyssey" provides the story's structure. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

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pub | drinking | bed | dream | jew | See All (168) »

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The enthralling story of June 16th, 1904. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexual content including dialogue | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

16 April 2004 (Ireland)  »

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Bl,.m  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Sean Walsh's name appears as the owner of one of the horses in the paper in one scene. See more »

Quotes

Stephen Dedalus: History is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake
See more »

Crazy Credits

The film is dedicated to S... See more »

Connections

Version of Ulysses (1967) See more »

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User Reviews

Attempts a 'story' but fails and it only has a good Rea, some great poetic dialogue and some imaginative images to cover the fact that it is frustratingly difficult to get into and rather uninspiring through
21 June 2004 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

1904, Dublin. Stephen Dedalus is an English poet in the service of the Catholic Church in Ireland; Leopold Bloom is a tragic figure who walks the streets of Dublin while his wife, Molly, commits adultery with barely the regard to try and conceal it. With the streets of Dublin as our colourful background, we take a journey into the lives and minds of these three characters.

Not being a cultured man I have never read Ulysses and the fact that it was 100 years since the day the story was set was not being to be enough reason for me to change that fact. However, being an uncultured man, I was very happy to watch a film version of that book and it was this that brought me to see this film on the 100th anniversary. Before the film all I knew of the main character (title character here) was that comedian Eddie Izzard had compared him to Scooby-Doo in that he was a tragic, cowardly character that we root for but I was happy to let the film show me the book (although I was aware that it was never going to be able to capture all of it). The story is very loose when considered on the level of a traditional narrative and at times it just seems to be so lost in itself that it is impossible to really care or follow. At best it is frustratingly difficult to get into and it never really feels like it has any structure apart from the start and the end. The start is a nice introduction but the ending only has structure in a rather pat attempt to give it a) some sort of ending that relates to at least one part of the film, and b) a happy ending to boot. It doesn't work and just seems to come out of nowhere even if the dialogue is great.

The film doesn't have an epic look but that is down to it's budget and, considering that, I thought they had done well with the shoot and managed to hide a lot of it's limitations with a solid shoot. In terms of dialogue the film has several occasional highs, which I can only assume come from the book either directly or with minor amendments. However the fact that it has a nice imagination and some good visual touches does not disguise the fact that it is very uninvolving as a film and lacks enough of its other qualities to really make it worth a watch.

The cast are mixed indeed. I thought O'Conor was pretty much absent without leave for most of his scenes and I never once got more than a vague understanding of his character and, judging by his performance, I would say that he had no better grasp than I did. Rea however is great – I had no preconception of Leopold so I felt that Rea did well to deliver a solid character in a film where almost nothing was solid. Ball may have little to do but she is also good value even if the film betrays her by making her the focal point of a happy ending having barely touched her throughout (unlike her men!). Some of the support cast are good but really the main reason I stayed with the film till the end was Rea's performance.

Overall this is not a great film, although I do not know how it compares to the book because I have not read it (but other comments on this site make it clear what they think!). It has occasional highs that include some poetic dialogue and an interesting visual imagination but mostly it is just frustratingly difficult to get into and offers no hope. It tries to structure a plot but it only seems to have annoyed fans by being simplistic and annoyed me by being a failed attempt at story. Maybe worth seeing for it's good points but not a very good film at all and certainly not one fans should come to.


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