Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Rowing With the Wind|
Actors: Hugh Grant, Lizzy McInnerny, Valentine Pelka, Elizabeth Hurley, José Luis Gómez
Director: Gonzalo Suárez
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
A frontiersman returns to the australian highlands to claim the girl he left behind but discovers he has made a few enemies. Studio: Buena Vista Home Video Release Date: 04/05/2005 Starring: Hugh Grant Elizabeth Hurley ... more »
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Strange and haunting, with superb acting and cinematography.
Mark Richardson (firstname.lastname@example.org | Jesup, Georgia (USA) | 10/10/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"A haunting, dreamlike film, occasionally powerful and moving, though more often dark and strange, "Rowing With the Wind" looks at the lives of the 19th century British poets George Gordon, Lord Byron and Percy Bysshe Shelley; and Shelley's wife, Mary, who became even more famous than her husband with the writing of Frankenstein.The film looks at these writers' ideas only very generally, preferring to dwell somberly and with a majestic use of music (especially Ralph Vaughn Williams' "Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis"), scenery, and sets (stark castles, Venetian palaces) on the chaos of their personal relationships and the pain of their lives. In doing so, it suggests a monstrous reason for their many tragedies, but don't come to this film expecting a horror movie--the device is more metaphor than monster.Hugh Grant proves once again that he is more deserving of reputation as an actor than a bad boy--though he does play Byron as a sort of ultimate bad boy--and the rest of cast is effective as well."
I actually enjoyed it.
Walter S. Botwinski | 03/15/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I bought this DVD out of sheer curiosity. The write-up on its cover shamelessly and ridiculously exploits the "Sexy Hugh Grant and seductive Elizabeth Hurley" thing, attempting to ride the coattails of their later fame more than fifteen years after it was filmed. It cheapens the movie, in my opinion, and was half the reason I popped it into the DVD player not really expecting much. I was truly surprised, though, to find myself enjoying the humor and, most of all, intrigued and even moved by the story. Don't get me wrong; it's definitely not factually accurate, and it is a perfect example of what Hugh Grant hilariously refers to as "Euro-pudding." However, it has its certain charms. Actually, I have found myself rewatching it on a few occasions because, as someone with some basic familiarity with literature of that era, the story stuck with me much more than I would have expected. I had to read up on Byron and the Shelleys, and then I rewatched it so it would make a little more sense to me, and what I really came to appreciate had less to do with factual depiction of events (and seriously, it's a movie about a fictional monster wreaking havoc on the life of its creator, so I wasn't expecting fact) but more to do with a very personal look at some larger-than-life characters. As someone below mentioned, Hugh Grant gives Byron an unexpected humanity, and Mary Shelley's sadness seeps through the self-appointed drama of the film to touch any viewer who has the slightest sympathy for the very tragic life she lived. It is an interesting concept to use her greatest achievement, Frankenstein, as a symbol of the misery she endured. She believes in the movie that she has brought life to imagination and ruined the lives of everyone she loves, but the omniscient viewer is haunted more by the idea that the horrors of her imagination were driven by the very real tragedies of her life. My perspective on Rowing With the Wind boils down to that, a sympathy for these incredibly talented and incredibly sad people, and an appreciation for a film that in some way succeeds in humanizing their experience at the most tumultuous time of their lives. It is crazy - and probably intentionally so, as you are inside the reflections of a woman who was no stranger to psychological suffering. My advice is to take it with a grain of salt and maybe you will also be pleasantly surprised."
Much than what this movie is known for.
Walter S. Botwinski | Grand Rapids, MI USA | 08/27/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This movie is based on actual historical events revolving around four individuals in the early 1800's, in several European locations. Three of the four main characters are famous British writers or poets. The main character in the movie is Mary Shelley, the author of Frankenstein. Mary Shelley had a life plagued with the loss of loved ones. The movie follows a portion of her life and highlights the loss of those that are close to her. The deaths she is surrounded by are brought to light through dialogue in the film. At one point Lord Byron, who is played by Hugh Grant challenges everyone to write a story, which is also based on an actual event. At this time Mary Shelley writes her famous work Frankenstein. As she is losing her loved ones throughout the movie her guilt and loss is manifested into the monster she has created. She blames herself for the loss of those around her which is also manifested into the monster she has created. We see the monster throughout the movie, but it is very easy to miss why the monster is there. The monster never interferes causing the deaths, though in one instance it looks like the monster causes a death mimicking a part of her Frankenstein novel. All the characters in the movie actually died in the manner portrayed in the film. If you have a historical knowledge of the main characters there should be nothing in this movie that catches you by suprise. The number of actual characters in this movie are limited and mainly focus on the four main characters and their ecentricities. The cinemetagraphy in this film is excellent. The movie was made to appeal to the visual senses. The film takes place with scenic and colorful backgrounds in Geneva and Venice. The costumes worn by the actors are rich and lavish and add to the scenic backgrounds. The dialogue in this movie is sharp and witty. All the actors in the movie would fall under the category of "eye candy". Hugh Grant and Elizabeth Hurley are younger in this movie which appears to have been filmed before they established any fame in the US. If you did not know that Elizabeth Hurley had a role in this movie it might take you a while to recognize her. This is a European movie filmed in English. The film was well shot and is not a B movie, however I did not give it five stars due to the transfer of this film over to DVD. There are flaws that should have been touched up in the transfer process onto DVD. These flaws are not easily noticeable throughout the majority of the film where the back grounds are darker colors. However it is very noticeable in the opening sequence which takes place aboard a ship in the artic. The flaws stand out against the white background. With the time and effort that was put into making and filming this movie one would think that it would get the proper attention when put onto DVD. This movie is much better than what it has garnered attention for. This movie has seemed to catch attention due to Elizabeth Hurleys later fame and the fact that her breasts are exposed for a few seconds in this film. This European film uses the characters as part of the scenery and exposes three of the four main characters throughout the film, which has both male and female nudity. This movie is not fast paced and has no action. The movie depends on its dialogue which is delivered very well by all of the main characters. Bottom line here is that this is not a horror film with action scenes. It is well worth the time spent to view it."
Not entirely without redeeming features
Edward N Drake | 09/01/2003
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Well, there's no getting around the fact that the film has no apparent point. Why is the filmmaker telling this story? What is the point of the monster? What, ultimately, are we supposed to get out of watching this? We will never know.That being said, I do have to put in a good work for Hugh Grant. He's always been underrated as an actor (partially his own fault, for playing all those ridiculous floppy-haired roles, and he's always been very good in roles he seems to be a bizarre choice for (Chopin, anyone?). The same is true here. Apparently Grant was cast because the writer-director was struck by his resemblance to Byron -- yet, he doesn't resemble Byron at all, and the ridiculous blond hair he gets halfway through the movie doesn't bring him any closer. What he does manage to do is give Byron some depth and some sort of line of growth. He's utterly shallow and unintentionally funny, at the beginning of the film, but by the end he has understanding and a certain amount of wisdom. The other thing Grant succeeds in doing, which no actor before has ever succeeded in doing, is making Byron human. He doesn't just sneer caddishly; he displays at least a bit of layered emotion (although admittedly not much, and Grant gives the part more than the writing offers).That being said, Grant is pretty much all the film has going for it. Gasp! at the size of the women's bonnets. Titter! at the almost completely one-dimensional portrayal of Shelley. Wonder! why the monster has to pause after every word. Roll your eyes! at the movie's determination to substitute previous fictional versions of incidents for what actually happens. And most of all, Recoil in horror! from Elizabeth Hurley's massive caterpillar eyebrows. Wow, did she ever change substantially once she shoved herself into that Versace dress and got famous.After all this, I still would absolutely rather sit through this than through the repellently inaccurate "Haunted Summer." That movie is a disgrace to fact and to those who are interested in the Romantics."