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

Imperium Movie Review

Imperium Movie Review

First-time filmmaker Daniel Ragussis takes an unusual approach to this thriller. Since it's based on...

The Girl With All the Gifts Movie Review

The Girl With All the Gifts Movie Review

Like a 10-years-later follow-up to 28 Days Later, this small British thriller takes a refreshingly...

The Magnificent Seven Movie Review

The Magnificent Seven Movie Review

Director Antoine Fuqua brings his usual fascination with violence to this remake of the iconic...

Bridget Jones's Baby Movie Review

Bridget Jones's Baby Movie Review

As it's been 12 years since the last Bridget Jones movie, expectations aren't too high...

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years Movie Review

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years Movie Review

A-list director Ron Howard worked with the surviving Beatles to assemble this engaging documentary, which...

Blair Witch Movie Review

Blair Witch Movie Review

It's been 17 years since The Blair Witch Project shook up the cinema and created...

Anthropoid Movie Review

Anthropoid Movie Review

Outside the Czech Republic, few people know about Operation Anthropoid, a spy mission in 1943...

Advertisement
Kubo and the Two Strings Movie Review

Kubo and the Two Strings Movie Review

From Laika (The Boxtrolls), this is one of the most beautiful, sophisticated animated films in...

Captain Fantastic Movie Review

Captain Fantastic Movie Review

An offbeat comedy-drama with a timely kick, this charming family road trip takes on some...

Hell or High Water Movie Review

Hell or High Water Movie Review

Sicario screenwriter Taylor Sheridan delivers another fiercely intelligent, engaging story that maintains high suspense while...

The 9th Life of Louis Drax Movie Review

The 9th Life of Louis Drax Movie Review

With heavy overtones of Hitchcockian mystery and intrigue, this stylish thriller is the enjoyably melodramatic...

Kickboxer: Vengeance Movie Review

Kickboxer: Vengeance Movie Review

The 1989 Muay Thai action movie Kickboxer starred a young Jean-Claude Van Damme, who pops...

Julieta Movie Review

Julieta Movie Review

Iconic Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodovar is back with another powerfully complex female-centred drama, along the...

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Movie Review

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Movie Review

An astute satire of the pop music business, this raucous mock-documentary is consistently hilarious from...

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.