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Arthur Newman (2012)

 -  Drama  -  13 June 2013 (Kuwait)
5.6
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Ratings: 5.6/10 from 3,480 users   Metascore: 42/100
Reviews: 23 user | 40 critic | 23 from Metacritic.com

A story of a man who fakes his own death and assumes a new identity in order to escape his life, who then moves in with a woman who is also trying to leave her past behind.

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Storyline

Wallace Avery hates his job. His ex-wife and son hate him, and he's blown his one shot at living his dream. Not wanting to face all this, he stages his own death and buys himself a new identity as Arthur Newman. However, Arthur's road trip towards anew life is interrupted by the arrival of the beautiful but fragile Mike, who is also trying to leave her past behind. Drawn to one another, these two damaged souls begin to connect as they break into empty homes and take on the identities of the absent owners: elderly newlyweds, a high-roller and his Russian lady, among others. Through this process, Arthur and Mike discover that what they love most about each other are the identities they left at home, and their real journey, that of healing, begins. Written by Becky Johnston

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

If you don't have a life, get someone else's.

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Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexual content, language and brief drug use | See all certifications »

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13 June 2013 (Kuwait)  »

Also Known As:

Arthur Newman, Golf Pro  »

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Did You Know?

Connections

Featured in The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Episode #21.132 (2013) See more »

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User Reviews

 
'If you don't have a life, get someone else's.'
10 September 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Director Dante Ariola may not have a lot of credentials as yet, but taking chances with stories such as this one written by Becky Johnston (Seven Years in Tibet, The Prince of Tides, etc), stories that dare take the unexpected path for how people are finding the human condition rather chaotic, suggests that we have a very creative artist in the making. Blessed with a quartet of fine actors in the leading roles and a small but impressive supporting cast, this film is just far enough off center to make it refreshingly refreshing.

The story follows the mid-life travails of sad sack FedEx floor manager Wallace Avery (Colin Firth) who is estranged from his ex-wife and angry young son Grant (Sterling Beaumon) and spends his time with his 'lover' Mina (Anne Heche in a fine performance) who loves him despite the fact that Wallace is boring. He decides to refuse to face a life he hates, stages his own death and buys himself a new identity as Arthur Newman. However, Arthur's road trip towards a new life is interrupted by the arrival of the beautiful but fragile Mike (Emily Blunt), who is also trying to leave her past behind: her mother committed suicide, her sister is in a mental institution, and Mike has assumed her sister's name to avoid having to create a life of her own. Drawn to one another, these two damaged souls begin to connect as they break into empty homes and take on the identities of the absent owners - elderly newlyweds, a high- roller and his Russian lady, among others - all supposedly brief moments on their road trip to Terre Haute, Indiana where Arthur believes he has a job as a golf pro - the promise of a chance encounter with one strange Fred Willoughby (the gifted David Andrews). That goal is a dead end, and through this process, Arthur and Mike discover that what they love most about each other are the identities they left at home, and their real journey begins.

Colin Firth and Emily Blunt are consummate actors and bring these odd characters to life: they successfully manage comedic situations but always hold closely to the sad underpinnings of their characters' tortured souls. The story is odd, being a variation of a road trip by very lonely and desperate people, but somehow it enters the head and heart and is cause for contemplation.

Grady Harp


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