In Love and War (1996) Poster

User Reviews

Review this title
47 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
This was a fabulous war/ biography movie!
lgoodman24 April 1999
For those of you who have read Hemingway, you will be surprised and captivated by the boyishness of the pre-war Hemingway that O'Donnell gives us so beautifully. The episodes in the life of the author that are covered by In Love and War are for the most part, not pretty. However, they give an insight into the writing of America's greatest author that no other movie of his work has ever done. Those who expected a movie version of A Farewell to Arms did not receive it, because the autobiographical In Love and War does not tell the same story that the semi-autobiographical book, A Farewell to Arms did. In Love and War is far closer to the truth, as other Hemingway scholars will attest. In that way, this movie is a valuable historical and biographical resource for people interested in Hemingway and his experiences in WWII Italy.

If you are watching this movie just for fun, however, and not to gain insight into a book or an author's life, there is much here for you as well. Bullock and O'Donnell have a wonderful chemistry, and the lighthearted moments are weighed against a tale of great agony and suffering without being preachy or too painful. There are serious moments, when the reality of life and war come home to Ernest, and there are beautiful moments, when Catherine explores Italy. It's a wonderful mix of the dramatic and the light, without being overdone or showy. The realism is striking. I hope that everyone who watches this movie enjoys it as much as I did.
13 out of 15 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
A very absorbing story of the young Ernest Hemmingway in Italy during WW-I, I rate it 8 of 10.
TxMike24 September 2000
There's something screwy in the Imdb ratings for this movie. Almost 25% of the votes are "10", yet its rating is "5.8"!! No way. This is a genuine 7 or 8 or 9 or 10 film, depending on your personal likes and dislikes. I give it "8".

"In Love and War" is based on the real experience of 18-yr-old Ernest Hemmingway who could not get into the regular Army because of a problem in one eye. However, he made it to Italy as a journalist, and actually was wounded near the front lines. He fell in love with his nurse and they vowed to marry after the war.

Hemmingway is played by Chris O'Donnel, which is my only 'beef' with the casting. Although he does a fine job, we all know that Hemmingway was a more gruff person and it never seemed realistic. Sandra Bullock plays the nurse and I liked her very much in this role.

Anyway, when he gets sent back to the USA, she stays in Italy. She thinks she is in love with an Italian doctor and breaks off her pledge to Hemmingway. He doesn't take it well, he smashes up things, goes into a drinking depression and is never the same. Even after the nurse returns to say she is sorry and still loves him. His pride kept him from forgiveness, and presumably was responsible for his suicide in his early 60s.

Overall a fine film about young men and women and their roles in the war, and its aftermath. The photography is beautiful and the dialog unifirmly well-structured.
12 out of 14 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Very Good Love Story
Mask-of-Santo5 February 2000
This is a true account of one phase of American author Ernest Hemingway's life. It is set during World War 1 and Hemingway is a soldier on the Western Front. He falls in love with a nurse and a woman who is older than him. This would be a normal love story but when you know that it was a real life episode it is better. However, things don't work out well in the end. Life does not have happy endings always. Good movie if you want to feel sentimental
8 out of 9 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
It is worth watching.
nataliaagolosova21 April 2015
Love in War

This is a movie about war and some challenges that people face there. The events unfold in Intaly during World War I. Ernerst Hemingway, the main character, is a young man who serves as a reporter. War is always connected with risk, so one day Ernie appeared in the hospital. Here he mets his love, Agnes von Kurowsky. She is a beautiful and talented nurse who can't stay indifferent for this handsome and charming youth. I can not say that this movie became my favorite one, but I like it. This is a romantic story. However, «In Love and War» touches many issues that are actual even now days.

There are a number of positive moments for me. As it was already mentioned, the problems appeared in the movie can be interested for many people. Such topics as friendship, love, bravery, betrayal and pride are reflected in the movie. And now a few words about the way the film was shot. I like the director's work. The movie contains many interesting foreshortening. There are a lot of scenes with nature and we can enjoy different landscapes. The choice of actors is good. The main character, Agnes von Kurowsky, is created by a brilliant actress, Sandra Bullock. She is so aristocratic and realistic in the film that I believe her for 100%. Besides, the ending of the movie is unexpected.

Nevertheless, there are some negative moments either. The beginning of the movie is overextended and some scenes seem unnecessary. My strongest disappointment is in the fact that this movie does not cause any strong emotions. Of course, it makes you sympathize with the main characters but you are not immersed in the atmosphere entirely. As a result, the movie won't stay in memory for a long time.

Despite of the boring beginning, the film is worth watching. It is a thought-provoking and touching love-story. Moreover, it is based on the real events. So we can get some details about Hemingway's life. If you want to create your own clear impression of this story, I would recommend you to read a book ''A Farewell to Arms'' at first.
3 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
This is one of the best movies made by Sandra Bullock.
vincew929823 May 2002
I am a fan of Sandra Bullock, thinking she is one of the best actresses but receiving few parts to equal her potential. The story itself is based on the story behind Hemingway's, "A Farewell to Arms". This work would be of interest to anyone that has read the book and would like a little story behind the story. If for no other reason than to see Ms Bullock at her best, to appreciate the depth she can reach at her art, and to just enjoy a well written and acted movie I would recommend this for your collection. It's worth buying, you will want to see it again, later. I rated it a nine, I think the average is below six. I first saw it on the big screen and the VHS/DVD format does take away from the film. But, I have enjoyed watching it a few times and others that are familiar with "A Farewell to Arms" found the film to very moving. Also, it's a pleasure to see a film that is made for adults without being trashy. I never felt that I made a date uncomfortable showing it, and a lady always feels like a nice hug after a good tear jerker.
6 out of 8 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Excellent film, but just one thing..
aalia6 November 2001
Warning: Spoilers
This is an amazing film with an ending that is so true to life... It deserves a 9/10 for portraying a side of reality which Hollywood rarely dares to show.

One piece of criticism I have is that there is an implication at the end of the film that Hemingway suicided because of his failed relationship with Agnes. However, it is unlikely that this is the case. After writing brilliant pieces of literature, especially in the late 1920s, Hemingway's writing took a downward turn and he could no longer meet the high standards in the literature world that he, himself, had set. Depressed, he was often writing under the influence of alcohol in an attempt to 'enhance' his work. Nonetheless, these pieces were still unable to please his critics, and it was during this stage in his life that he committed suicide.

For interest: Ernest and Agnes occasionally wrote to each other afterwards, but one of Agnes' boyfriends burnt the letters that Ernest wrote to her, including the his reply to her letter breaking up their love relationship.
7 out of 10 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
The Reality of Love Spoiler
johnny-m9 December 2004
Warning: Spoilers
"In Love and War" is an exquisite film that, as any major work, tends to bring both praise and criticism. It is not a grand a film like "Schindler's List" or "The English Patient", nevertheless it remains as one of the greatest love films ever made, particularly because it tends to show the disappointment of this wonderful feeling in real life. After all it is based on a true story, the story of Hemingway's first (and arguably only) love.

The film starts by showing a cocky and self-absorbed, 18 years-old, Ernest (Chris O'Donnell) who is more enthusiastic about being in the war as a soldier and not as a Red Cross volunteer, than actually realising the reality of the trenches. As a result he gets wounded the first time he approaches the front line, and the whole dream of fighting for the common good collapses for the protagonist. His misfortune, however, turns to his advantage. In the hospital he meets a stunning, 26 years old nurse, Agnes von Kurowsky (Sandra Bullock), an American Red Cross volunteer, who manages to save his wounded leg from amputation. The passion between the two seems inexistent at the beginning, and Ernie's declaration of love at first site sounds rather childish. Soon however, Ernie becomes The Kid, and Agnie the woman that loved him, though the script refuses to show the existence of too much chemistry between the two.

After Ernie is sent home, Agnes decided that it was the "Time to think with the head!" and accepted a marriage proposal from Dr. Caracciolo (Emilio Bonucci). But, "There was always someone else", and after an eight-month period Agnes returns to America.

Broken-hearted, matured, and evasive, Ernie lets the time pass slowly beside him, lets the words of his beloved woman vanish into the stillness of the forest.

The ending is a memorable one, incredibly moving, and real. Love, pure or manufactured, it is not always made to bring happiness to those who are trapped by it.
4 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Tear Jerker
ldy_laura16 August 2004
I have always thought of myself as a Sandra Bullock fan...

How I missed this one I have NO IDEA! I finally saw this for the first time (yeah - I know the movies 8 years old) but I went through a whole box of Kleenex.

Bottom line...

I loved this movie... it spoke to the romantic in me...

I haven't had a really good cry from a movie in a long time...

I'm glad that I was able to see this and I can't wait to see if I can buy it.
3 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
An all-around great film!
Alicia17 December 2001
In Love and War is one of the greatest romance films ever. O'Donnell and Bullock shine in this sentimental melodrama about war and what it can do to love. O'Donnell is great as Hemingway and Bullock rocks as the nurse that falls for him. This movie is perfect for women and if you can get your hubbie to watch with you, well, that's good, too.
5 out of 9 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
So honestly true.
claimaster14 May 2000
I've seen a few movies only that moved me like "In Love And War". Probably due to my own life, I enjoyed this film as a moment of understanding - the young Ernest Hemingway who has hopelessly fallen in love with his nurse, Agnes von Kurowsky. Both actors (O' Donnell and Bullock) have proved their ability to do a great emotional show. Everything seems so true, so honest, so real. Anyone who has ever been desperately in love, doing things he/she shouldn't have done and takings risks that are obviously not worth taking them - those people do understand the meaning of love. And this movie shows love in war. And everything gets even more difficult for these two lovers who do not know how much surprises life will offer them...
4 out of 8 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
To doubt love can make life so different
mjs5223 July 2004
When Agnes played by Sandra Bullock finally gives in to meet young Hemmingway before he is sent home at a run down brothel, Hemmingway says "I wanted this to be the most beautiful place on earth" She says, 'Just close your eyes". This is such an important thing that people overlook. When you have a love like that, you can be happy & in heaven in a run down room, and be in hell or just not happy in a Venitian mansion (the good Dr's house) or some other place that you think money will make you happy.

The story gave me a good insight to Hemmingway. I once saw a play that took place at the end of his life drinking and miserable & maybe still trying to forget and wishing, when she returned to him, his pride had not stood in the way of their love.

Sure the movie had some flaws but well worth watching.
2 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Is there any place for love during a war?
niksilyuk28 April 2015
In spite of the fact that I don't like romances, once I had to watch the "In love and war". However, after watching it I was pleasantly surprised. The movie not just answers the question in the title of my review, but shows us in detail how it really happens. From the very beginning you start to believe actors, emotions and feelings they express and of course the setting.

The story starts when young reporter Ernest Hemingway (Chris O'Donnell) comes to an Italy town as a volunteer in period of World War I. Soon he is injured and transported to the hospital, where he meets Agnes (Sandra Bullock ), he instantly falls in love with her, but he is not her only admirer. Surrounded by a number of lovers and all atrocities of war, will Agnes respond Ernest in kind?

The thing I like most is the way how the war is shown. Notwithstanding that there are little battle scenes and action always takes place in hospital, we can see all terrors of war "from the backyard". You always sympathize with very young soldiers, who are in the hospital, especially those who are deadly injured.

Even if you are not a fan of war films or romances, I advise you to watch the movie, just to broaden your horizons and not to forget what the war is. The love storyline is quite simple, the same thing can be said about characters, but there is something catching in this movie something that makes me think that one day I will watch it once again.

1 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Hemingway's First Love All Wrong
CitizenCaine4 May 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Chris O'Donnell and Sandra Bullock star in Richard Attenborough's story of Hemingway's first love with Agnes Kurowsky, the red cross nurse. It's near the end of World War I and the young Hemingway finds love with an older red cross nurse behind the trenches after he's injured helping an infantryman to safety. This must be the Hallmark greeting card version of the story because the scenery is great, the period authentic, the dialog sentimental and proper, and the chemistry between the leads completely absent. O'Donnell has absolutely no zest to foreshadow the larger than life figure the famous Hemingway was.

Maybe that was part of the point Attenborough was making with the film: the romance was more of a young man's fancy than reality. This was a film made in retrospect after the discovery of Kurowsky's love letters with the young Hemingway, and it stands to reason the truth was softened somewhat to make for a romanticized story. Some viewers will question the notion implied by the epilogue of how this episode influenced the elder Hemingway. He later wrote A Farewell To Arms, which of course he based on this same episode of his life. That film, at least the older version from the thirties, is far more satisfying than what viewers will see here. This appears to have been made strictly for the Lifetime network crowd. ** of 4 stars.
1 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Unusual, but enjoyable
Mabes8 March 1999
Chris and Sandra are both wonderful even though the film moves rather slowly. An excellent glimpse of WWI and insight into Hemingway. A good film for a rainy day.
1 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Kelnic798522 March 2002
This movie was a disgrace to Hemingway's life. It dragged on and on. The war, which was a huge part of Hemingway's life and a major aspect of his writings, was addressed very little in this movie. The love aspect of it was the most horrific of all. Their love was shallow and wasn't developed at all. I think after the first day he told her that he loved her. All they were to each other was a booty call. It was really depressing. And his reasons for not forgiving her didn't even make sense. I hated this movie and I suggest anyone who is about to watch to throw the tape into a blazing fire and never speak of it again.
4 out of 11 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
I enjoyed watching it.
davideo-219 January 2000
STAR RATING:*****Unmissable****Very Good***Okay**You Could Go Out For A Meal Instead *Avoid At All Costs

Since it came out to rent on video in August '97,I've always been trying to find an opportunity to watch In Love And War,a Richard Attenborough film starring the beautiful Sandra Bullock and the rather fading Chris O' Donnell.

I've heard the movie be rather bad mouthed by most people who have seen it.One things for sure,the battle scene at the beginning was pathetic.I've seen more frightening brutality in a My Little Pony video.I think perhaps having seen the no holds barred horror/gore of Saving Private Ryan,anything I saw was going to have trouble matching up to the expectations of that.But this was exceptionally unspectacular and laughable.

As I've said before,Sandra Bullock looked like a Godess in her nurses uniform and with her hair down.Her appearance and her performance were two of the main saving graces of this rather shabby picture.The story was quite involvingly told,though,and,although quite flawed,I enjoyed watching this

pic as a break from the norm.See.***
2 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Not In Love With This.
anaconda-4065823 March 2016
Warning: Spoilers
In Love and War (1996): Dir: Richard Attenborough / Cast: Chris O'Donnell, Sandra Bullock, MacKenzie Astin, Ingrid Lacey, Alan Bennett: Here is one of the stupider more manipulative war films that is more about somebody attempting to get into someone else's pants. Technically well made yet cheats viewers with its pathetic tearjerker ending. Chris O'Donnell stars as a soldier torn between the love of the nurse and the hate of the war around him. He is shot in the leg during World War 1 and spends the remainder of the film within a boring romance with a nurse until arriving at an ending that should grant every viewer their money back. Directed by Richard Attenborough with realistic yet graphic images of war. He previously made Gandhi and Chaplin so this is a major step down. O'Donnell and Sandra Bullock are hardly convicting because they are used to jerk viewers around with their romantic bullshit as oppose to address real issues regarding the war. In bland supporting roles are MacKenzie Astin and Ingrid Lacey who can only hope that this garbage isn't the end for them in terms of their careers. Had the film concentrated on conditions of victims, hospitals and effects of the war then it might have been convicting but it sidetracks that by turning the concept into romantic drivel in its peep show depravity. As it is it is more war than love. Score: 3 / 10
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
A very moving, understated love story
GusF13 November 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Based on the 1989 book "Hemingway in Love and War" by Henry S. Villard and James Nagel, this is an extremely effective and often very moving depiction of the teenage Ernest Hemingway's relationship with the 26-year-old nurse Agnes von Kurowsky in Italy during the latter stages of the First World War. They fell in love and were planning on getting married after the war ended but Agnes broke up with him as she thought that he was too young. The experience left an indelible mark on Hemingway and it directly inspired several of his works, most notably "A Farewell to Arms". The film has a very strong script and it is extremely well and sensitively directed by Richard Attenborough, who was the obvious choice to handle this material. It bears some superficial similarities to his previous film "Shadowlands" in that it likewise concerns a famous author who has his first real experience of romantic love but then has to deal with the loss of that love, albeit in an extremely different way. It is not on the same level as that film, one of Attenborough's absolute best, but it nevertheless a very good film.

Chris O'Donnell is very good as the 18/19-year-old Hemingway. He is depicted as a brash, arrogant, headstrong young man who joined the Red Cross in search of adventure. Considering that it was the War to End All Wars, he did not believe that he would get another chance to fight. However, the reality of the situation hits home when he receives a severe leg wound in the process of saving a young Italian soldier named Roberto, who dies shortly thereafter. He is taken to an American Red Cross-run hospital where he meets Agnes, who is played very well by Sandra Bullock, for the first time. Hemingway is immediately smitten but she maintains a polite disinterest for him for some time until she realises that she has fallen for him as well. The two of them have a very sweet, understated romance. Seven years is not much of an age difference in most adult relationships but it's a very big one when it is between 19 and 26. Hemingway is very brave and certainly very intelligent but he is still a teenager and occasionally does stupid things, most notably when he lies to his friend and rival Harry Villard and says, in her presence, that he and Agnes slept together. She slaps in the face - I'd have probably done the same thing in her position - but eventually forgives him.

The main problem is that Agnes is a mature woman while Hemingway is very immature in many respects. He rushes headlong into their relationship and proposes marriage with only a vague and fairly unrealistic plan for their post-war life. Given that she accepts his proposal, she is initially swept away by the romance of the situation but she soon develops doubts about it. When Villard tells Agnes that she will be good for him as she can take care of him, she points out that this is what his mother is for. While Agnes is not quite as strong a character as I would have liked, O'Donnell and Bullock have great chemistry and many of their scenes together, particularly the last one, are very affecting. The supporting cast is very good, particularly Emilio Bonucci as Hemingway's more serious romantic rival Dr. Domenico Caracciolo, Mackenzie Astin as Villard and Ingrid Lacey as Elsie MacDonald.

The film was aptly titled as it also explores the horror of war, something which Attenborough previously did, albeit more extensively and effectively, in "Oh! What a Lovely War" and his masterpiece "A Bridge Too Far". This is best handled in the case of Hemingway's friend Jimmy McBride, who suffers horrific injuries to most of his body. He eventually loses the will to live and commits suicide as the pain is just too great. The discovery of his body is the most moving scene in the entire film. As far as I can tell, McBride is an entirely fictional character so it is possible that his fate was intended as a reference to Hemingway's own suicide in 1961. Hemingway shows a softer side as well as his writing ability when he dictates the perfect letter to McBride's parents, supposedly from their son. It was a very kind thing to do.

I've read several of Hemingway's novels but I am certainly not an expert on either his body of work or his life. However, I learned from a New York Times article published to mark the film's release that it took some liberties. In reality, according to her "Dear John" letter, she came to realise that she was very fond of him as a son rather than a sweetheart whereas she truly loved him in the romantic sense in the film. Their relationship is consummated in the film but they probably never did so in real life and the article argues that they were probably both virgins when they returned to the United States. I'm of two minds as to whether it was a good decision to have them sleep together in the film. Finally, they never saw each other after Agnes sent him the "Dear John" letter but they have one final meeting in the film. While the two of them never seeing each other again would have been a more poignant ending, their last brief encounter is necessary given the way that the film is structured. At the end of the film, Hemingway is as most people would picture him: bearded, brooding and drinking.

Overall, this is an extremely strong film on the subject of first love, doomed love and the problems associated with notable age gaps in relationships. That said, it is more of a February-March relationship than a May-December one! The film's biggest problem is that it loses a little bit of its momentum in the last 20 to 25 minutes.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Love in war and War in love
shoko-jad17 May 2015
Touching and sentimental movie about Love in war and War in love. It tells us the story about the relations of a young ambulance-driver, that, in fact, is considered to be one of the most prominent figures of the XXth century -Ernest Hemingway with a little-bit-older nurse, Agnes von Kurowsky, portrayed by a wonderful actress Sandra Bullock. The events take place during the First World War in Italy. Hemingway, being wounded, is sent to a military hospital. This is the place where they meet. She is his nurse who is devoted to her work and all the patients, as well as to the 'kid' as she calls Ernest.

Though the characters didn't have a significant difference in age, this is a good example that tо love all ages yield surrender. It's a common thing when a man is older, however, when it's a woman The attention of the society arises and it can be difficult for a couple to become free from public opinion. But not in this case. What attracts you more is another thing. 'Is it true love?'- that question arose to my mind after watching this film.

There is a saying that Forgiveness is the final form of love. So if we love we should learn how to forgive. It's not that easy. That's a real trial for people, kind of examination of feelings. So after watching this, if you are one of the thinkers, your mind will be probably filled with questions about love. What is love? What is true love? What's the difference between them? I don't think the answer for them will explain the situation occurred here. Because whatever the answer is, it is not universal. Life is not mathematics and you can't rationalize feelings. It's not for judging, it's for thinking.

10 out of 10, would watch again.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
The incredible love story
maymay-1773727 April 2015
The film "In Love and War" is full of emotions of its main characters. I really like such kind of films because of feelings during watching. As everyone knows all the events of that times are so hard and tense because of the World War I, but love has a great power. Despite on War this ate gave people the opportunity to make a very happy couple. The romance between Agness and Ernest erupts unexpectedly. And even such an independent person as Agnes that doesn't believe in love at first sight fall in love with the 18- year old boy. Actually, in the move they felt such a pure feelings to each other that makes us thinking about our habitual life. The plot of the story is deep and characterized by touching and sentimental features. Sandra Bullok in the role of Agness is so reserved, representative and unruly nurse that at first we may say that she doesn't interested in anything except her job, but when everything happens we can see that her heart is not so cold as it seems. Another main character Chris O'Donnel plays in the role of Enrest. In the movie, we can see that this 18- year old boy is an independent reporter that is also handsome, nice and confident in life. I should say that it's very impressive that such opposite people fall in love with each other. I think it help us to trust in something incredible. But even here everything can't be good. Dr. Caracciolo fell in love with a young Agness. To my mind, the only one disadvantage of this move is the absence of happy end. Such a beautiful love story does not have any good result and it made me disappointed. This film is worthy of viewing and I think it won't leave anyone indifferent.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Prejudice spoils everything
shulzhenko_lesya26 April 2015
The film "In Love and War" is based on true story of Earnest Hemmingway, who wanted to fight in World War I, but didn't manage to get into regular army because of poor eyesight. However he became a journalist and was lucky enough to be near the front lines. But there once, saving a wounded Italian soldier, he was wounded too. In the hospital he met 26 year old nurse Agnes von Kurowsky. She helped him to save his leg from amputation, and he fell in love with her.

On the whole I liked the film. At first it seemed too slow and boring, but then I noticed that I watch it with interest. The final scene was very intense and moving, I could not help sympathizing with the main characters. Also seeing the work of nurses, doctors in the hospital, I could not but admire their courage, endurance, devotion to their job. It says a lot about a person.

Although the film is not bad, there are some things I didn't like. The description of the battle, when Ernest was hurt seemed to me quite unrealistic. I have seen worse in the movies. Also the behavior of the main characters was sometimes stupid. For example, Agnes was worried too much about the age difference between Earnest and herself. It is ridiculous. People fall in love despite this and live happily. Also in my opinion Earnie is too stubborn and cocky, it causes them both a lot of trouble.

I can say that acting of Sandra Bullok (Agnes) and Chris O'Donnell (Ernie) is absolutely amazing. They played their parts very convincingly, I believed them completely and it is one of the reasons why I liked the movie.

If you are a fan of love stories and historical movies, this film is for you. But if you are not it is still worth watching. However don't expect a very happy ending, the events took place at the war time after all. I rate it 7/10.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Almost 10 out of 10 when people crave naivety and innocence
EvgeniaKuznetsova22 April 2015
The film gives us a colorful description of the war events mixed with the biography of a famous write Ernest Hemingway. Being young and brave, Ernest, an American reporter sent to Italy, wants to participate in battles and become a hero of his time, but he is not allowed to change his assignment. Suddenly he becomes a victim of a bomb attack and is taken to hospital. There, in hospital, he meets charming Agnes who is several years older, but this "insignificant" age gap cannon prevent them from falling in love with each other. The war is not the best time for a love affair, but the lovers do not lose their hope for their calm and bright future. So, thanks to the director and the cast for creating this feeling of hope for the better.

When I watch any film, the first thing that draws my attention is the atmosphere created by many details that may seem meaningless separately, but, combined together, they give a clear picture of the narration and make you involved and sympathetic to the characters and people of that time on the whole. At the same time, it cannot be denied that everything in the film is depicted so idealistic and so gorgeous that the whole picture becomes a little bit unrealistic and some scenes – naive.

Another thing is the state you are in when you are watching a film. Sometimes you need and crave such films to experience the same trials with the main characters, sympathize with them and simply cry being overflowed with emotions. As I was not in the mood to criticize the film, I just enjoyed it without going deep into the details.

As for the cast, the director chose the best actors fitting the main roles – Chris O'Donnell and Sandra Bullock. They are beautiful and act well. I do not have much to say here.

While watching the film, I had a strong desire to find a book the film based on just because I am more interested in reading books than in watching their screen versions. An interesting fact is that the film is based on the book Hemingway In Love and War (1989) by Henry S. Villard and James Nagel, but there is one more book - which was written by Hemingway himself – A Farewell to Arm (1929) depicting the exact story of love in another way. In the latter book you will find fictitious names and the events so developed and so changed that almost nothing of the plot seem to be the part of Hemingway's biography. Probably, as in many fictional books that have been written due to the influence of some circumstances of authors' lives, Hemingway turned the story another way round on purpose. Thus, if you are really interested in Hemingway and his literary career, it is necessary to pay attention to three sources to charge about the objectivity of the film: the books mentioned above and Hemingway's biography.

To sum it up, I really liked the film because I did not have an aim to search for imperfections, but I do not want to re-watch it again as I will start doing it subconsciously. Probably, it does not fit the structure, logic and filling of a review, but, at least, these are my honest opinion and thoughts I wanted to share.

My rating is 9 out 10 (minus one for the idealistic representation).
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Modern Fairy-tale of a High Quality
anya-za22 April 2015
The film is based on the book Hemingway in Love and War by Henry S. Villard and James Nagel. In the movie Hemingway's real-life experience in WWI is reflected, what gives zest to the film. The story opens up with the appearance of a young energetic and craving for adventures war correspondent Ernest Hemingway. During one of the battles he gets wounded and then is sent to the hospital, where he falls in love with Agnes, an American Red Cross nurse, who saved his leg from amputation. So, their relationship is becoming to develop.

This romantic movie is rather of high quality. Good cast, very harmonious music, exceedingly picturesque setting (especially Venice), perfect cameraman's job. All this immerse you into another world and makes you believe that even hardships of war can't be an obstacle for true love.

Despite of the fact that my general impression was positive after watching this movie, I wouldn't like to watch it one more time, as I usually do, when a film impressed me very much. This film reminds me of a good fairy-tale, which is far from reality. The heroes are so beautiful, the war is so "clean", the setting is so romantic, everything is so, so, so… exaggerated. During watching the movie you just enjoy a good romantic story, you sympathize with the heroes, but you don't believe them.

So, the movie is quite impressive and touching. I think, those, who like emotional romantic stories, would enjoy watching it but I don't advice it to those people, who expect to see a war movie. This film is more about love, not war. I would give this film 7 out of 10 points.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
"Good war movie about love". An opinion from a war/love stories hater.
asel_zhakeeva22 April 2015
Warning: Spoilers
In love and War is a movie based on the book Hemingway in Love and War by Henry S. Villard and James Nagel that describes the events of young Hemingway's life during the war-time. Ernest Hemingway goes to war in Italy where he is accidentally shot and sent to a local hospital. There he falls in love with an American nurse. The movie depicts the first serious challenge for Hemingway – War and the first Love of a young boy who is known as one of the most prominent writers of all time. This will be captivating for anyone who loves war/love stories and those who don't know this part of Hemingway's life.

First, this movie is worth watching because of the cast. Chris O'Donnell plays young Hemingway. Though this actor is not very famous, his acting is pretty impressive if consider, for example, the difference in the character in the beginning of the movie, when Ernest is a naive fearless 18-year old boy who is willing to make a contribution to this war by any cost and at the end of the movie, when Ernest is disappointed in love and life man. I think this work of a young actor is worthy of respect especially when your partner is an incredibly talented actress Sandra Bullock. She plays Agnes Von Kurowsky, an American nurse who falls in love with Ernest. Sandra Bullock is known mostly by her famous comedies as Miss Congeniality, Proposal, etc. But in this movie she is introduced as a brilliant drama actress who portrays Agnes as delicate and tender. Second, the director's work is first-rate. There is no moment when you get distracted from the plot because of bad director's cut. Also the music score is quite professional, because soundtracks do not distract from the movie events, but at the same time I can't say that some soundtrack stuck in my mind, so they're not outstanding.

If compare this movie with other war movies, it stands out from the list because there is only one scene showing military actions, but the other part of the movie shows the life of wounded soldiers in the hospital. On the one hand that's a good thing because when Love is the main plot line, you don't expect to see firefights and dead soldiers, so it's certainly a plus. But on the other hand the life in the hospital is so merry so you actually forget that it's wartime.

All in all it'a good melodrama for all-ages, even for children. They can learn new things about Love, War and young Hemingway. Except perhaps one scene…But parents may close their children's eyes. I can't say I'm delighted after watching this movie, but it's simply because I hate both melodramas and war movies. And all the negative things I noticed are the disadvantages of the book the movie is based on, so let's say the movie is the best it could be and I advise to watch it to everyone. It's 9 out of 10.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Just OK
katekay21 April 2015
The events took place during the First World War period. By the way, this story is biographical and tells us a bit of a life of the famous literary figure of the 20th century - Ernest Hemingway. In 1918, 18-year-old Hemingway had volunteered to fight in the war and during an attack in Italy, his leg was wounded a lot and he was taken to the hospital where he was lucky or not to meet 26-year-old nurse, Agnes and to fall in love with her. But did she feel the same? Good and even more bad things can be said about this film. And the plot with the costumes are one of the strongest points of the picture. Although there are many similar works, this looks different. Probably the fact that this very story is based on real events makes me worrying about the main characters, and all depicted atrocities of the war also make their contribution into perception. Some episodes will settle in my mind, for example, when a little girl called a nurse "Angel" or the man committed suicide, or those first signs of the love. I think any person will definitely find something to think about after watching the film.

Though, the plot is fine, the majority of the film you would feel bored. The cause of it is a long beginning along with the actors' play. Sandra Bullock played Agnes von Kurowsky and I really like her and have seen so many movies with her: "The Proposal", "The Lake House", "Miss Congeniality" and the others. And in every film she was brilliant and bright and the one who made a great impression on me every time I saw her in the movies. But here she was plain and uninteresting. It seems that she tried to reserve her emotions and maybe she does not fit to this role. She looked sleepy and factitious. What about Chris O'Donnell as Ernest 'Ernie' Hemingway, he was not bad there, but not impressive and charismatic as I anticipated his character should have been. He was not energetic and sassy enough as he was trying to be and his playing just spoiled my impression on this film.

To conclude all mentioned above I want to say that this was OK: good because it was about the war and love and everything, but it was not impressive at all.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
An error has occured. Please try again.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews

Recently Viewed