The true story of Graeme Obree, the Champion cyclist who built his bicycle from old bits of washing machines who won his championship only to have his title stripped from him and his mental health problems which he has suffered since.
The skilled pilot Denis Hopkins lives with his pregnant wife Valerie and has a comfortable lifestyle. When the gang of criminals headed by the sadistic Ricky Barnes breaks in his seaside ... See full summary »
Byron lives with his ex-wife, her kids, and her boyfriend, and when he's not pursuing his primary passion, women, he spends his time smoking weed and loafing around. But he's grown restless... See full summary »
Cameron Colley is a young scottish journalist, with an interest in exposing the wrongs committed by the rich and powerful. Life is comfortable enough but uneventful, until someone starts ... See full summary »
18th-century England and Ireland viewed through the eyes of four beautiful high-born sisters - Caroline, Emily, Louisa, and Sarah Lennox, great-granddaughters of a king, daughters of a cabinet minister, and wives of politicians and peers.
George 'Beau' Brummel, a penniless but witty London gentleman, maintains a refined lifestyle with his loyal servant, cook Robinson. Only the friendship of the unpopular Hanoverian heir and ... See full summary »
Emma Woodhouse seems to be perfectly content, a loving father whom she cares for, friends, and a home. But Emma has a terrible habit - matchmaking. She cannot resist finding suitors for her... See full summary »
Jonny Lee Miller
Let me start by stating that I've read most of Byron's letters, a number of biographies as well as his poetry. The screenwriter, whose work on adapting Persuasion I liked very much, did well by the conflicted, contradictory character of the "bad, mad and dangerous to know" Byron. The script drew on the title characters own works, letting him speak what he wrote - and he was a marvelous letter writer, much better than he was a poet. This film was much more faithful to the facts than the average biopic - frighteningly so, given what it shows about Byron's scandalous character and life.
Jonny Lee Miller, although obviously older than the character he portrays, gives us the whole chameleon, the demure new star in the writing establishment, the would be politician, the society "bad boy". Witness the poet with his hair up in curlers for a new side to the Byron everyone thinks they know. My ideal actor for the part would have been the young Robert Vaughn, but Miller gives us the genuine pain in the ass quality the part needs.
What particularly interested me in this version was what got left out. Probably the most famous part of the Byron story is the summer he spent with Shelley and his menage, which resulted in the publication of "Frankenstein." It has been amply treated elsewhere, in the excellent "Bride of Frankenstein," Ken Russell's god-awful "Gothic", and the even worse "Haunted Summer". The screenwriters chose to leave it out, concentrating instead on the debacle of Byron's marriage and his final redeeming attempt to assist the cause of Greek liberation from the Turks.
In between these two was the other major part of Byron's life, the many years he spent in Italy. While the scandalous parts were shown, it might have been interesting to show something of his attempts to help liberate Italy from the Austrians, which led him ultimately to his death in Greece.
Overall, though, I found this movie an absorbing account of a life ill-spent, full of fine acting in all the minor parts. I'm not sure, however, exactly how it would work to someone without a basic knowledge of the Byron saga, in all its deplorable, lunatic, and muddled variety. The life of Byron simply doesn't lend itself to smooth storytelling with a lot of sexy bits.
20 of 20 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?