‘The Professor and the Madman’ Film Review: Mel Gibson and Sean Penn Lack Definition in Oed Biopic

  • The Wrap
‘The Professor and the Madman’ Film Review: Mel Gibson and Sean Penn Lack Definition in Oed Biopic
I don’t have a copy of the Oxford English Dictionary in front of me but the OxfordDictionaries.com website defines “boredom” as “the state of feeling bored.” Which is about as insightful as anything one can find in “The Professor and the Madman.”

The film, credited to “Pb Shemran” — a pseudonym for Farhad Safinia, who co-wrote Mel Gibson’s “Apocalypto” — stars Gibson as James Murray, the man responsible for compiling and completing most of the Oed before his death. The astoundingly thorough compendium of every word in the English language was a mammoth undertaking and required significant assistance from a wide variety of sources. One of those sources happened to be confined to a mental institution after committing murder.

Sean Penn co-stars as Dr. William Chester Minor, a Civil War solider and doctor with paranoid delusions that led him to chase a stranger through the streets and gun him down.
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