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The Libertine (2004)

Director:
Laurence Dunmore
COUNTRY
UK
GENRE
Drama/Comedy
NORWEGIAN TITLE
The Libertine
RUNNING TIME
114 minutes
Producer:
Lianne Haflon
John Malkovich
Russell Smith
Screenwriter (based on his play):
Stephen Jeffreys


Cast includes:

CHARACTER ACTOR/ACTRESS RATING
Rochester Johnny Depp
King Charles II John Malkovich
Elizabeth Barry Samantha Morton
Elizabeth Wilmot, Countess of Rochester Rosamund Pike -
Sir George Etherege Tom Hollander -
Charles Sackville, 6th Earl of Dorset Johnny Vegas -
Alcock Richard Coyle -
Billy Downs Rubert Friend -
Harris Jack Davenport -
Rochester's mother Francesca Annis -
Vaughan Tom Burke -
Keown Stuart Townsend -
Chiffinch Paul Ritter -

 

Review

Playwright Stephen Jeffreys adapts his play about the free-drinking, outspoken seducer John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester to the big screen. At the hands of first-time director Laurence Dunmore, this period piece is anything but the glossy Merchant/Ivory dramas for better or worse. The film is packed and wrapped in the amoral and careless, but also humorous and intellectual spirit of its protagonist. Johnny Depp personifies Rochester with splendour and charisma, but keeps his performance fairly shallow throughout. Something that will also apply to the film itself, making it a rather strenuous affair, as Dunmore drenches his film in a constantly muddy palette and focuses mostly on the, often funny, but ultimately superficial dialogues, monologues and poetry of the legendary Duke.

Copyright 14.2.2006 Fredrik Gunerius Fevang

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