In 1950, John Brinnan invited the highly acclaimed and infamous Dylan Thomas to New York for a series of poetry readings. Ignoring rumors of Thomas' frivolities back home, Brinnan has his hands full when the poet arrives. Desperate to get his watchful university chaplains off his back, Brinnan takes Thomas to his family retreat in the woods of Connecticut. But even in the middle of nowhere, the resourceful and cantankerous Thomas finds an audience for his art, passion, love and aggression...
The character "Shirley", played by Shirley Henderson, is referred to only by her married name of Hyman, but is, in fact, Shirley Jackson, the famous authoress of "The Haunting Of Hill House" (filmed twice as "The Haunting") and "The Lottery". The real Shirley Jackson looked nothing like Ms. Henderson. See more »
When Dylan and John's "boxing" gets out of hand, Shirley exclaims, "Don't get your pantyhose in a knot." Pantyhose were not available to the public until 1959. Shirley also calls John "Rocky" in this scene, which seems to be referring to the 1976 movie "Rocky." See more »
There is no secret, John. No Holy Grail. Just what's in front of all of us. Don't open a book. Open a window.
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This film is the perfect example of why great writing, direction and performances will always be more important to creating great cinema than having oodles of cash and lavish visual effects. Shot in weeks not months, no one misses a beat in this story about an enigmatic, troubled genius. Wood and Jones are mesmerising as Brinnin and Thomas respectively and it's beautifully directed in black and white by Andy Goddard. Finally, a mention for Gruff Rhys whose haunting soundtrack perfectly augments a beautiful film. It amazes me that films like this have to fight to get made. One of the best films I've seen in the last few years. A must see whether a fan of Thomas or not.
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