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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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Neilí Conroy ...
Eoin McCarthy ...
Alvaro Lucchesi ...
Maria Hayden ...
Aideen McDonald ...
Pat McGrath ...
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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>

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

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Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexual content including dialogue | See all certifications »
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16 April 2004 (Ireland)  »

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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
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Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Version of Ulysses (1967) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Nice but still awaiting a great Ulysses film
23 February 2007 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Joyce's 'Ulysses' is the record of a single day (16th June 1904) in the lives of three characters in Dublin - Leopold Bloom, Stephen Dedalus and Bloom's wife Molly, and deals with their actions, inner thoughts and relationships. The day itself was meant to be unexceptional – it actually commemorates Joyce's first date with his girlfriend, Nora Barnacle. In the manner of such records it does not follow traditional plot structure. This of course does not mean the book is unfilmable. Quite the contrary in fact - we have seen the video diary become increasingly ubiquitous and there is a recent fashion for films that trace interlocking lives through short periods of time.

Additionally Joyce himself in his novel employs all kinds of innovative cinematic techniques with flashbacks, dissolves and close ups (Joyce was very interested in film and actually opened Dublin's first cinema in 1909, but he was a better writer than a businessman).

Joyce hoped Eisenstein might film his book and perhaps the ultimate film of 'Ulysses' is yet to come, but in their own very different ways Joseph Strick with Ulysses (1966) and Sean Walsh with 'Bloom' have done the job for two successive generations.

However the book - arguably the 20th century's English literary masterpiece - has an iconic status that may prevent a filmmaker departing too widely from the text. In 'Bloom' Sean Walsh, plainly a lover of Joyce, has been anxious to follow the text as closely as possible and also to create a period drama that has the genuine look and feel of the time. But while a film that remains so faithful to the text may satisfy an audience of keen Joyceans it will mystify those who have not read the book.

Although the day in question is a century ago the book actually ranges over a plethora of surprisingly modern topics: sexual relationships including adultery, the power of the press, publicity and advertising, popular culture and music, nationalism and political cynicism, alienation, racial and ethnic prejudice, technology and consumerism - to name but a few.

To my mind Joseph Strick's 1966 film, which is very new wave - right down to its minimalist score - and which treats the story in 'modern dress' with modern setting (for the time) had a contemporary look and feel that allowed the audience to reflect that the topics pursued were every bit as relevant to them as to the actors on the screen. By contrast 'Bloom' plays as a nice historical drama but one that is about as relevant to our own lives as Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice.

Ultimately the greatest film of Ulysses will come when the filmmaker attempts not verisimilitude but instead works from a script that will be 'freely adapted from Joyce's Ulysses'. That day will come when Joyceans – and the Joyce estate – permit. But after all it is worth reflecting that Joyce's book is itself but a free adaptation of Homer's original.


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