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 asks for 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 sexually- active 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 Frenchman, he falls into disgrace with the court. When he was 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
Most of the film was lit using candles, rather than conventional movie lights. In order to keep the effect of candles, but still get enough light, Cinematographer Alexander Melman designed a special piece of equipment, a stand that held a bank of candles and a reflective backing. These were known on the set as "birthday cakes". 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 »
The Libertine is a movie that is of Oscar caliber. Stunning, unbelievable and brilliant....even these words do not accurately describe Depp's execution of this part.
We were blown away and that is the best way to describe it. It was funny in parts, raunchy in others and finally, tear-jerking. I found myself holding my breath so many times, because Depp's acting was so amazing.
When Rochester starts to show the ravages of his disease towards the end, all I could think of was that Johnny FINALLY got his wish....to play a character as ugly as possible with his face so mutilated and scarred that he was almost beyond recognition. It was MAGNIFICENT!! He was truly hideous and it was a good reminder of the toll that syphilis took on a person in those days.
This movie is not for the faint-hearted or easily offended. It's mid-17th century England at it's grubbiest, filthiest and most depraved. There is foul language, plenty of nudity and phallic symbols are used liberally throughout this film, although Rochester is always fully clothed.
We definitely felt there was much more chemistry between Johnny and Rosamund Pike, who played his wife, than between Johnny and Samantha Morton. Perhaps it was supposed to seem that Morton's character Elizabeth Barry did not really 'click' with Rochester, as that was the impression we were left with.
The sex scenes, even between Rochester and Barry are rough -- almost emotionless, as opposed to being actual 'love' scenes.
It was the opinion of our group that Johnny Depp has elevated himself to that upper echelon of actors who are to be revered for their skills and talent. This role is the crowning glory of his career to date and it's time he is given his due for being one of the best actors of our time.
Although the film needs some fine-tuning, we left the theater in awe of the magnificent performances we had just witnessed.
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