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

Murder on the Orient Express Movie Review

Murder on the Orient Express Movie Review

The latest adaptation of Agatha Christie's 83-year-old classic whodunit, this lavish, star-studded film is old-style...

Paddington 2 Movie Review

Paddington 2 Movie Review

The first Paddington movie in 2014 is already such a beloved classic that it's hard...

A Bad Moms Christmas Movie Review

A Bad Moms Christmas Movie Review

Everyone's back from last year's undemanding adult comedy, plus some starry new cast members, for...

Brawl in Cell Block 99 Movie Review

Brawl in Cell Block 99 Movie Review

Filmmaker S. Craig Zahler brought a blast of offbeat creativity to the Western genre two...

The Death of Stalin Movie Review

The Death of Stalin Movie Review

Fans of the film In the Loop and the TV series Veep will definitely not...

Call Me By Your Name Movie Review

Call Me By Your Name Movie Review

Set in northern Italy in the summer of 1983, this internationally flavoured drama is a...

Thor: Ragnarok Movie Review

Thor: Ragnarok Movie Review

The most riotously enjoyable Marvel movie yet, this action epic benefits hugely from the decision...

Advertisement
Breathe Movie Review

Breathe Movie Review

While this biopic has the standard sumptuous production values of a British period drama, it's...

The Snowman Movie Review

The Snowman Movie Review

With a cast and crew packed with A-list talent, this film seems like it should...

The Party Movie Review

The Party Movie Review

Comedies don't get much darker than this pitch-black British movie, written and directed by Sally...

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) Movie Review

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) Movie Review

Noah Baumbach (Frances Ha) is on his way to becoming the new Woody Allen, which...

6 Below Movie Review

6 Below Movie Review

Based on an astonishing true survival story, this film is subtitled "Miracle on the Mountain",...

Mother Movie Review

Mother Movie Review

Darren Aronofsky doesn't make fluffy movies, and has only had one genuine misfire (2014's Noah)....

Blade Runner 2049 Movie Review

Blade Runner 2049 Movie Review

It's been 35 years since Ridley Scott's 1982 sci-fi classic, which was set in 2019....

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.