I really love ‘Genius’ (2016) for one particular thing: I hope I can read books by American authors in near future. What more powerful can we say on how influential a movie is other than making its viewers doing something exclusively after watching it?
Not only the movie successfully prompts me reading novels by Thomas Wolfe, the film also does its good job presenting a well-known editor, Mark Perkins. He is the one who ‘catches’ the unique talent of Wolfe, making the newbie author believing his writing magic.
Colin Firth acts really well as the editor. Cool-headed, calm, smart, straight-forwarded person.. But his most distinctive trait is he knows how to handle Wolfe, the rising author who is emotional and explosive. The friendship between the two is the highlight of the movie. I really love how they befriend as workmate and pal.
Two people with different characteristics and life goals (Wolfe is an adventurer while Perkins is a family man) can get along very well. They work together making Wolfe’s Long Homeward, Angel and Of Time and the River as best-selling books at that time.
Making films about certain famous authors are ordinary but creating story about editor is quite rare. When it is done well, the movie becomes really something to watch. People usually know authors but not all of them wish they know how firstly ‘find’ the talent, especially if the authors are newcomers. Also, not everyone wishes to know who edit, give advice on title and sentences, and all that trivial things to make their books marketable.
I love Perkins. The kind of person who looks reserved everywhere he goes in any kind of situations, including when Wolfe’s girlfriend (played by Nicole Kidman) threatened him by a gun. The sort of editor who knows exactly what he looks for a good book then stand by his choice despite oppositions from the author himself, Wolfe.
His choice is extraordinary. In short, he is the most-fitted man for his job. Personally, I love Perkins because I, too, work as an editor though, yes, not as grand as his job is. But I can get his difficulties going through hundreds of pages then finding what are about the work that can be sold and make its way out of millions of books out there.
Colin Firth and Jude Law are very compatible as leading actors. I love the way they argue on editing Of Time and the River. Also, the way they defend each other’s opinions about their ways of lives become the very prominent scenes of all.
Though at the end of the movie they don’t meet anymore up til Wolfe’s sudden brain attack, the deceased’s letter showcasing his admiration on his co-worker really touches my heart. Such a rare thing to witness a friendship between a writer and an editor like them. A very beautiful thing to see.
After the movie I browse to the internet about Long Homeward, Angel and Of Time and the River. I like the first sentences as they move so poetically though quite long. That’s more than enough to encourage myself putting the books on my to-be-read list.
Thank you ‘Genius’ for not only making me wanting to read the titles, loving literature even more but also realizing how heartwarming a friendship between the two distinctive well-known literary figures can be.
The picture is taken from here.