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 orders 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 debauched, 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 King and the French ambassador, John falls into disgrace with the court. When he is 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 are the two panoramas of the interior of the theater, which was intentional. See more »
The prologue and epilogue have the Earl-as-Narrator mentioning "gonads" (a word not coined until almost 1880), and remembering the circumstances of his own death. This part of the movie is meant to break the fourth wall. The narrating Earl knows he is speaking to a 21st-century audience. 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 »
Excellent period piece with formidable acting & writing
Familiar with the play & was curious to see the adaptation . Jeffreys expands his work effectively but several very direct elements will need edited of the more licentious behaviors of the period. Writing is witty and pungent and accurate in its representation of the period. Dunnsmore's direction is firm and the dark & smokey grey brown tones he uses work well for the film. Performance wise- Depp gives a Oscar worthy performance incredible in its range & depth. Malkovitch also holds the screen as King Charles , The actor's personal Maturity showing as both the heaviness of power & the indulgence of the character. Needs editing by about 20 mins ( it IS a work in progress) but other than that & some cleaning up technically of the sound in places ( esp the beginning) The work stands up excellently! Would recommend!
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