6.6/10
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59 user 122 critic

Genius (2016)

PG-13 | | Biography, Drama | 10 June 2016 (USA)
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A chronicle of Max Perkins's time as the book editor at Scribner, where he oversaw works by Thomas Wolfe, Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald and others.

Director:

Michael Grandage

Writers:

John Logan (screenplay by), A. Scott Berg (based on the book 'Max Perkins: Editor of Genius' by)
1 win & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Colin Firth ... Max Perkins
Jude Law ... Thomas Wolfe
Nicole Kidman ... Aline Bernstein
Laura Linney ... Louise Perkins
Guy Pearce ... F. Scott Fitzgerald
Dominic West ... Ernest Hemingway
Vanessa Kirby ... Zelda Fitzgerald
Gillian Hanna Gillian Hanna ... Julia Wolfe
Angela Ashton ... Bertha Perkins
Eve Bracken ... Zippy Perkins
Katya Watson Katya Watson ... Jane Perkins
Lorna Doherty Lorna Doherty ... Peggy Perkins
Makenna McBrierty Makenna McBrierty ... Nancy Perkins
Miquel Brown Miquel Brown ... Eleanor, Perkins' Maid
Corey Johnson ... John Wheelock
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Storyline

When, one day in 1929, writer Thomas Wolfe decided to keep the appointment made by Max Perkins, editor at Scribner's, he had no illusions: his manuscript would be turned down as had invariably been the case. But, to his happy amazement, his novel, which was to become "Look Homeward, Angel," was accepted for publication. The only trouble was that it was overlong (by 300 pages) and had to be reduced. Although reluctant to see his poetic prose trimmed, Wolfe agreed and was helped by Perkins, who had become a true friend, with the result that it instantly became a favorite with the critics and a best seller. Success was even greater in 1935 when "Of Time and the River" appeared, but the fight for reducing Wolfe's logorrheic written expression had been even harder, with the novel originally at 5,000 pages. Perkins managed to cut 90,000 words from the book, and with bitterness ultimately taking its toll, the relationships between the two men gradually deteriorated. Wolfe did not feel ... Written by Guy Bellinger

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Max Perkins discovered Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald. But he never met anyone like Thomas Wolfe.

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some thematic elements and suggestive content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

10 June 2016 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Pasión por las letras See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$98,274, 12 June 2016, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$1,358,018, 12 August 2016

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,346,531, 4 August 2016
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color | Black and White (opening sequence)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jude Law and director Michael Grandage previously worked together on stage productions of "Henry V" and "Hamlet". See more »

Goofs

The story is set in New York with numerous flags shown flying but all railroad shots are of British locomotives and carriages (coaches) where the film was made. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
John Wheelock: [throwing down a manuscript onto his desk] Might want to read this one.
Maxwell Evarts Perkins: Please tell me it's double-spaced.
John Wheelock: No such luck.
Maxwell Evarts Perkins: Where'd you get it?
John Wheelock: A woman named Aline Bernstein. The stage designer? The author's her protege. Every other publisher in town has already tuned it down.
Maxwell Evarts Perkins: Is it any good?
John Wheelock: Good? No. But it's unique.
Maxwell Evarts Perkins: A quick look.
John Wheelock: Thanks, Max. I'm in your debt.
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Connections

Referenced in Jeopardy!: Teachers Tournament Quarterfinal Game 2 (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

Flow Gently Sweet Afton
(Sottish traditional)
Composed by Jonathan E. Spillman
(1873)
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User Reviews

 
Beautifully crafted and compelling film.
12 June 2016 | by varistaylorSee all my reviews

I find it hard to understand how this excellent film is getting negative reviews from critics. It is like a breath of fresh air for thinking movie goers. It is a thoughtful, intelligent and highly entertaining look at Maxwell Perkins, an editor who as he said wanted to bring "good books" to the public. He did, bringing us the works of Fitzgerald, Hemingway and Thomas Wolfe who is the focus of the film. It gives a historical perspective of two opposites (Perkins and Wolfe) who working together create something substantial. Perkins is a strong main character with a noble moral center, beautifully underplayed by Firth. When did we last see someone acting nobly in a film? In contrast, to the larger than life and decadent Wolfe (I had no idea Wolfe was played by Jude Law, until after the film) Law immerses himself in the character. The fact that this is a true story makes it all the more compelling. My fifteen year old daughter who is well versed in the writings of both Fitzgerald and Hemingway encouraged me to see Genius. We both walked away exhilarated; the way you feel after seeing a really good movie that transported you somewhere else. The Director, writer, actors and composer/ scorer all did a first rate job to help bring a to bring a great film to the public.


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