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 The Libertine 

What grade would you give this film?
A 33%  33%  [ 2 ]
B 33%  33%  [ 2 ]
C 17%  17%  [ 1 ]
D 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
F 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
I don't plan on seeing this film 17%  17%  [ 1 ]
Total votes : 6

 The Libertine 
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Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2004 3:38 pm
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Post The Libertine
The Libertine


The Libertine is a 2004 film starring Johnny Depp, John Malkovich, Samantha Morton and Rosamund Pike. Directed by Laurence Dunmore in his first outing and adapted by Stephen Jeffreys' from his play of the same name, the film stars Johnny Depp as John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester, a notorious rake and libertine poet in the court of King Charles II of England. Samantha Morton plays Elizabeth Barry, an actress whose budding talent blossoms and makes her much in demand under Rochester's tutelage. The two become lovers. John Malkovich plays King Charles II, who is torn between his affection for Wilmot and the danger posed by his displays of contempt for his sovereign. Themes explored in the film include the corruption of a people by their self-indulgent monarch and the pursuit of hedonism.

Fri Mar 10, 2006 5:33 pm
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Cream of the Crop
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Joined: Sun May 15, 2005 3:43 pm
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Location: Wellsville, MO
Great film. Can't really say much more as I need a second viewing to really get a grasp on everything. I'm still kinda in shock at Johnny's physical appearance near the end of the movie; I thought I'd been prepared for it, but I definitely wasn't.

A very moving film with some extremely heart-wrenching scenes played wonderfully by Johnny Depp.

Grade: A


Mon Mar 13, 2006 11:25 pm
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Joined: Sat Oct 30, 2004 1:13 pm
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This was another surprise. I really enjoyed The Libertine - if you can call the experience of watching Johnny Depp's character's descent into debauchery and decay "enjoyable". This is a profoundly dirty movie about an egomaniac, which of all things reminded me of Basic Instinct 2 - actually they would make an awesome double feature - seriously! There was also a bit of the spinmeister lobbyists of Thank-you for Smoking in Depp's character and his writing/speaking ability. Also, there's a couple of laugh out loud comedic scenes, including the one where he's having his portrait painted. But this movie ultimately comes down to the sex - sex as a power tool, that is.

I caught this film towards the end of it's first-run, and boy, am I glad I did - the big screen played out the gritty cinematography and muddy historical reality.

4 out of 5.

Fri Apr 21, 2006 7:55 am
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B+, Johnny Depp's best performance of his career.

Sat Jul 15, 2006 6:39 pm
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Joined: Sat Oct 23, 2004 11:13 am
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Location: New York, NY
5/10 ( C )

Despite Johnny Depp's strong performance, the weak direction by Laurence Dunmore is unforgivable and causes the film to become tiresome fairly quickly.

Tue Jul 18, 2006 1:42 am
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Not bad. I enjoyed the story and the film's grittiness. But it's all a bit plodding and unfocused: the end left me quite confused as to what legacy Rochester left that's warranted attention towards him.

Johnny Depp is good, but it's a very showcasey performance that, in the end, is pretty surface. The concessions the screenplay makes about his character that bookend the film are also written in the same vein as his character, and in turn, are also just kind of there, for show. I was more impressed, in fact, by Rosamund Pike, playing Rochester's jilted wife.

Overall, I did like the film's style, though.


Tue Jul 18, 2006 3:21 am
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Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2004 9:23 am
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Based on a play and it shows, in that it is mostly just scenes of people in cramped environments throwing barbs at each other, they made no effort at expanding the play into a movie and adding some sweep. It reminds me of the Producers in that sense, it needed an experienced director and writer who knew that there's more to making a movie than simply filming a play. It's unusual that first-time director Laurence Dunmore was able to get such a good cast, too bad he wasn't also able to get a good cinematographer. The cinematography was among the worst I've seen in the last decade.

Depp gives a good performance but it is entirely in his comfort zone, this character could be a cousin of his famous pirate. Rosamund Pike was very good, commanded a lot of attention and was radiant but she seemed to be from our era, and didn't feel in period at all. Still I was pretty impressed by her. Samantha Morton also gives a great supporting performance, with lots of chemistry with Depp in the scenes where he teaches her to be a better actress. Those two women steal the film.

Overall the film feels like it was written by someone very immature and was about someone very immature. There isn't much depth to be had here especially in the supposed climax where Depp comes out in favor of keeping the monarchy and we are supposed to cheer that it seems. Yay? He does do a good job in that speech though, complete with metal nose covering and cane, with the camera losing focus sometimes to imply his mental state fading in and out. With all the wobbliness mixed with articulate argument, it was a scene to make Jack Sparrow proud.

Sun Oct 15, 2006 3:50 pm
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