WATCHED THIS ———————————->
Synopsis: Presenting a story within a story within a story model, The Words follows struggling writer Rory Jansen (Bradley Cooper) whose biggest aspiration is to be America’s next great writer. He finally achieves long sought after literary success after publishing his first novel, one he plagiarizes after discovering an old manuscript in Paris while on honeymoon with his new wife (Zoe Saldana). The decision to pass off this work as his own comes back to haunt him when he is confronted by the actual author (Jeremy Irons). Rory must pay the ultimate price for chasing ambition and success.
My Take: I’d been looking forward this movie since January when I missed seeing a screening at Sundance. I haven’t loved Bradley Cooper choices of dramatic movies as of late (I literally fell asleep during Limitless), but in my heart of hearts, I think he’s probably one of the most well-trained actors in his generation. If he would just picked some good scripts, he would be set. My hopes were pinned on this movie as I think literary dramas have the potential of being a really great character studies. Unfortunately, The Words fell short of my expectations. The film was certainly ambitious - you have a writer (Dennis Quaid) who is reading excepts of his latest novel at a public event, which is in turn a story about a writer (Cooper) who stole a manuscript and published it under his name. That said manuscript is about a man (Irons; a younger version of himself played by Ben Barnes) who loved and lost in post-WWII Paris. But to say that the movie goes out of its way to tout these novels as brilliant, the words from them that we hear are anything but. That may not be a problem for a movie just about a novelist but when the whole weight of the movie is on “the words”, you have a big problem. I also don’t think the film is completely successful stressing the impact of the parallels between all the leading men, this choice to indulge professional success over personal relationships in their lives. The film asks alot of us to buy into the realism of the choices of both Quaid’s and Cooper’s characters. The concept was there but I didn’t feel it. I especially had problems with the ambiguous ending that felt awkward and unnecessary where we are asked to decipher what is fact and what is fiction. This was to me an added device used to try and bring the audience in but only succeeds cloud the main message.
<——— SAW THIS
The upsides? The acting was pretty good (well, this is true for everyone but Dennis Quaid). Cooper was properly conflicted, Saldana was adequately loving, and Irons was enigmatic and introspective at its best. And the greatest highlight of them all? Every single moment with Ben Barnes in the City of Lights. These moments actually had such a different feel from the stories set in modern day, more endearing and believable. So much so that it didn’t feel to me like it really fit with the other stories. I kind of wish the whole Parisian story could have been a film of its own. It was such a beautiful dramatic and romantic story emphasized by the acting talents of Barnes and also his leading lady Nora Arnezeder.
What really stuck with me was not the film itself but the clothes that Nora Arnezeder’s character wore, the vintage style with a touch of European flair that is really making a comeback in modern fashion. It is both soft and romantic yet casual. So yeah, I have to say that her dresses inspired my style this week. On my recent trip to Toronto, I picked up this very cute Uttam Boutique dress from a shop that specialized in European fashion that I think reflects some of the style choices in The Words.
WORE THIS —————————————>