The Words

"Good"

The Words Review


Like a Russian nesting doll, this film tells a story within a story within another story, playing around with fact and fiction, as well as the nature of creative inspiration and integrity. These themes are thoroughly engaging, although the film has a nagging familiarity to it because of its cliched story elements. And the structure prevents us from getting properly involved in any of the three story strands.

The main narrator is Clay (Quaid), who is reading from his book The Words, which tells the story of writer Rory (Cooper) and his wife Dora (Saldana), who struggled for five years before his first novel was published to rapturous acclaim from both critics and the public. But out of the shadows emerges an old man (Irons) who knows Rory's secret: he found the manuscript for the novel in a briefcase he bought in a Paris junk shop, then passed it off as his own. So the old man in turn tells Rory his own story, about when he was a younger man (Barnes) in Paris married to a French waitress (Arnezeder).

The layered storytelling lets filmmakers explore quite a few big issues, from the way most novels are based on elements from the writers' lives to the ruthlessness of the publishing industry, in which even the most talented authors struggle to earn a living. But of course, most of the characters in the film are fictional, so we never become very invested in their situations. And the only "real" person is Quaid's cocky, leery Clay, who's engaged in squirm-inducing flirtation with a grad student (Wilde) who stalks him.

Rory's story is the most interesting, simply because it deals with a proper ethical dilemma and is so well-played by Cooper and Irons. But when it shifts into the extended flashback of a romanticised 1940s Paris, we begin to lose interest in the whole movie. Still, the filmmakers have a strong visual eye, and bring all of the elements together for a somewhat overwrought finale. We may be intrigued along the way, but in the end we also feel like we've been manipulated by all of these fake characters and situations.

Rich Cline



The Words

Facts and Figures

Genre: Dramas

Run time: 102 mins

In Theaters: Friday 7th September 2012

Box Office USA: $11.4M

Box Office Worldwide: $13.2M

Budget: $6M

Distributed by: CBS Films

Production compaines: Waterfall Media, Also Known As Pictures, Benaroya Pictures, Animus Films, Serenade Films

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 22%
Fresh: 26 Rotten: 91

IMDB: 7.1 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Brian Klugman, Lee Sternthal

Producer: Michael Benaroya, Tatiana Kelly, Jim Young

Starring: as Rory Jansen, as Dora Jansen, as The Old Man, as Clay Hammond, as Danielle, J.K. Simmons as Mr. Jansen, as Richard Ford, as Joseph Cutler, as Young Man, as Nelson Wylie, as Celia, as Timothy Epstein, Gianpaolo Venuta as Dave Farber, Liz Stauber as Camy Rosen, Keeva Lynk as Cynthia

Also starring:

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Colossal Movie Review

Colossal Movie Review

It's rare to find a movie that so defiantly refuses to be put into a...

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

It's unlikely that Guy Ritchie could make a boring movie if he wanted to. This...

Snatched Movie Review

Snatched Movie Review

It doesn't really matter that the script for this lively action-comedy is paper thin: teaming...

Jawbone Movie Review

Jawbone Movie Review

Boxing movies aren't usually this thoughtful. Sure, there are plenty of punchy moments in the...

Whisky Galore! Movie Review

Whisky Galore! Movie Review

Scottish filmmaker Gillies MacKinnon (Hideous Kinky) remakes the 1949 Ealing comedy classic, although it's difficult...

Alien: Covenant Movie Review

Alien: Covenant Movie Review

Master filmmaker Ridley Scott is back to continue the story 10 years after the events...

The Journey (2017) Movie Review

The Journey (2017) Movie Review

A fictionalised account of real events, this drama is reminiscent of Peter Morgan's work in...

Advertisement
Sleepless Movie Review

Sleepless Movie Review

In remaking the 2011 French thriller Sleepless Night, the filmmakers have dumbed down both the...

Unlocked Movie Review

Unlocked Movie Review

By injecting a steady sense of fun, this slick but mindless action thriller both holds...

Lady Macbeth Movie Review

Lady Macbeth Movie Review

A seriously impressive feature directing debut with a star-making central performance, this period British drama...

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

It was never going to be easy to match the impact of 2014's Guardians of...

The Promise Movie Review

The Promise Movie Review

The director of Hotel Rwanda, Terry George, turns to another humanitarian horror: the systematic murder...

Their Finest Movie Review

Their Finest Movie Review

Skilfully written, directed and acted, this offbeat British period film tells a story that catches...

Unforgettable Movie Review

Unforgettable Movie Review

With heavy echoes of trashy thrillers like Fatal Attraction, this movie overcomes its painfully simplistic...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.