*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I was convinced Atlas Shrugged could not be put on film, but this movie
proved me wrong. It has a contemporary look and feel, while retaining
the Art Deco elegance of Rand's novel. The acting is superb,
particularly Taylor Schilling as Dagny Taggart and Grant Bowler as Hank
Rearden. Bowler manages to cram more meaning into a half-cocked eyebrow
than most actors in a dozen lines of dialogue, and Shilling captures
the sleek, cold elegance of Dagny, while giving just a hint of the
passion simmering beneath the surface. Indeed, all the performances are
This is a beautiful movie to watch, with sets, locations and costumes that are both gorgeous and convincing. The run of the John Galt Line is thrilling, and when it crossed the bridge made of Rearden Metal, I wanted to stand up and cheer.
Director Paul Johansson (who also plays John Galt) obviously knew exactly what he wanted to put on the screen, and manged to do it. He is faithful to Rand's story, and in particular to the philosophical message that is at the heart of the work, while maintaining the excitement of the plot.
During her lifetime, Rand did not allow the novel to be made into a film, perhaps for fear that the movie would not be faithful to the book. It's too bad that she didn't live to see this movie because, I believe, she would be surprised and pleased by how well it captures the essence of her work. This is clearly a labor of love that will help make Rand's ideas accessible to many who have not yet read her work. And it's exciting and rewarding for those of us who have been Rand fans for many years. Can't wait for Parts 2 and 3.
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