In 1660, with the return of Charles II to the English throne, theater, the visual arts, science and sexual promiscuity flourish. Thirteen years later, in the midst of political and economical problems, Charles II asks for the return of his friend John Wilmot, aka the second Earl of Rochester, from exile back to London. John is a morally-corrupt drunkard and a sexually- active cynical poet. When the King asks John to prepare a play for the French ambassador so as to please him, John meets the aspiring actress Elizabeth Barry in the playhouse and decides to make her into a great star. He falls in love with her and she becomes his mistress. During the presentation to the Frenchman, he falls into disgrace with the court. When he was thirty-three years old and dying of syphilis and alcoholism, he converts to being a religious man. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Unlike most period films, this one was shot almost entirely with a hand-held camera. The two most notable shots with a fixed camera (not a hand held one) are the two panoramas of the interior of the theater, which was intentional. See more »
The Earl of Rochester reads an insulting poem he wrote about Charles II which implies that the King is impotent, and insists this "is true." In fact, Charles II was a noted womanizer who fathered at least a dozen illegitimate children by seven mistresses. See more »
Allow me to be frank at the commencement. You will not like me. The gentlemen will be envious and the ladies will be repelled. You will not like me now and you will like me a good deal less as we go on. Ladies, an announcement: I am up for it, all the time. That is not a boast or an opinion, it is bone hard medical fact. I put it round you know. And you will watch me putting it round and sigh for it. Don't. It is a deal of trouble for you and you are better off watching and drawing...
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Special thanks to Tracy, Billy and Stanley and all our Friends and Families See more »
My experience in viewing Laurence Dunmore's The Libertine at the Toronto Film Festival left me overwhelmed and in a high emotional state of awe and praise. The dramatic opening prolog was enough to convince me that Johnny Depp is the life force in this powerful film. He is more than an actor portraying a character, he is a force that knows no limitations nor will stop at anything. His performance in The Libertine had such an effect, that I was overwhelmed and moved to the point of tears and fear. Once sitting in the darkened theater, I was not prepared for what I was about to witness. Slowly, coming into view, his beautiful face emerges as big as life itself and from his sinister and well formed sensual lips he speaks the words, "You're not going to like me." From there, this man gives the most gut wrenching speech I have ever heard. This is Johnny Depp like you've never seen before. Powerful, intense, and compelling are an understatement. I felt as if I were hit between the eyes with a forty-five automatic and left spent without even remembering the act. Even Laurence Dunmore could not say enough about Johnny's performance and I give him high praise for his art in progress. In my opinion Dunmore handed the reins to Johnny allowing him to play the Earl without restraint. Not only was Dunmore courageous with that decision, he was brilliant in doing so.
This period piece about the wretched Earl of Rochester has him go through incredible transformations and, willingly, pulled me along with each gritty step. I loved him, I despised him and I wanted him. Most of all, I felt him in my soul and this I will never forget. This Oscar worthy performance by Johnny Deep truly needs to be experienced.
The film was the perfect vehicle in allowing Laurence Dunmore his creativity to soar with its wonderfully wicked and gritty feel and intense acting from Johnny Depp and Samantha Morton. John Malkovitch was superb as well, however, I would have liked to have seen more scenes with him and Mr. Depp.
After watching Johnny Depp in The Libertine, I am convinced, he is a powerful force who, not only took my breath away, but held me on his rock hard pedestal and kissed my soul.
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