On the morning of june 16 1904 leopold bloom set out on a journey that was to become one of the greatest tales of the 20th century. Adapted from james joyces ulysses bloom is an enthralling story of love loss & lust. Stud... more »io: Mti Productions Release Date: 07/26/2005 Starring: Stephen Rea Hugh Oconnor Run time: 108 minutes« less
Visualizing James Joyce's Stream of Consciousness Well
Grady Harp | Los Angeles, CA United States | 04/25/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"BLOOM is bound to polarize audiences into those who believe Joyce's great novel ULYSSES should never be tampered with and those who welcome revisiting the glories of the story of one day (June 16, 1904) in the lives of three main characters in the streets and surroundings of Dublin, Ireland. For this viewer this adaptation by Sean Walsh for the screen works on almost every level. Walsh was brave indeed to make the internal dialogues of these important and endlessly interesting characters visual, and how he succeeded will be, happily, up to the interpretation of the viewer.
Joyce's ULLYSSES intertwines the thoughts and strolls and inner thinking and perseverations of Molly Bloom (Angeline Ball) who opens the film with lusty thoughts of her well-endowed lover while lolling in bed with her husband Leopold Bloom (Stephen Rea) who is fixated on specific parts of the female anatomy and who holds in abeyance his grief for his dead son. The other character of focus is Stephen Dedalus (Hugh O'Conor) whose general awakening to the world is both exhilarating and isolatedly toxic. There is no real story here, simply the meanderings and happenstance crossing of paths of these three indelible people. If at times the musings and fantasies of Leopold Bloom seem on the verge of outrageous (especially the scenes of his thoughts about domination/submission complete with oddly costumed characters), if the views of the 'snot-green' sea seem repetitive, if Molly Bloom's sexual antics border on absurd, then just return to ULYSSES and the seeds are all there.
For many, James Joyce is an acquired taste and the random nature of this filmed version of his writing will be off-putting. But for those who still relish the thoughts of the initial struggles and eventual rewards of reading ULYSSES, this film will satisfy. Kudos to Sean Walsh and to his committed cast of Stephen Rea, Angeline Ball and Hugh O'Conor for making it happen. Grady Harp, April 05"
The Holy Novel.
Bernard Chapin | CHICAGO! USA | 01/22/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A must see even though I am not sure that my five star rating is a true reflection of this particular film. The fact that it is based on Ulysses means that I could not possibly give it less than a perfect score. There is no greater novel in history, in my own personal view.
The director's choice of beginning with Molly was an interesting and creative decision and I think it paid off. The beauty of the sets and background is endearing and this production absolutely has the feel of Ireland in 1904. Other than the tower that Stephan lived in, all of the locations were believable, and the only reason that I say that the tower was not is because I visited the real one in 1991. I think the choice of actors and actresses was satisfactory even though I regard a better Bloom being cast for an episode of a late eighties Bravo "Left Bank" show.
Honestly though, anything that drums up interest in one of the greatest works of art ever written is worthwhile. I hope people rent or buy this movie and follow it up by reading the book."
Best of Joyce on Film to Date
Coyner Thomas Lee | Seoul, Korea | 01/27/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you are unfamiliar with - or intimidated by - arguably the finest English language novel of the 20th century, this film is for you. Like those from many Irish households that have unread copies of "Ulysses" on the shelves, I was both fascinated and reluctant to take on this novel. That all changed once I got my hands on this DVD. After a couple of viewings of this very beautiful and intelligent film, I launched myself on to an incredibly rewarding adventure of reading the book itself.
Scholars can quivel over the minor points but from my reading the novel, the movie stays very close to the book while masterfully dealing with a number of concurrent plots. The devotion of the director, the actors and other participants in the making of this film mirror that of "Lord of the Ring" trilogy but on an obviously smaller scale. Often projects done out of love justify avoiding such films at all costs but this time the passion succeeds.
This movie brings "Ulysses" out of the ivory tower and out on to the streets of Dublin town where it belongs."
Amazing adaptation of Joyce's ULYSSES--teachers must have!
Heather Elizabeth Erwin | Annapolis, MD | 05/02/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Anyone who still includes James Joyce's ULYSSES among the books they teach should have this DVD. Not only is it amazingly helpful to see the work portrayed so that you understand the way scenes are a mix of memory, reflection, and real-time interchange among characters, but the extras on the DVD, such as the 'scenes' labeled according to their corresponding segments, such as CIRCE, ITHACA, etc., offer a fabulous study aid.
And for those who, as Sean Walsh describes in his explanation of why he created this work, have always wanted to read the novel but never quite made it past page 10, it gives a grounding in the outline of the work that allows a reader to return for another try that not only makes the reading easier, but also increases the ability to relax and just enjoy the beauty of the language!"
Filming the unfilmable
L. Benjamin | Savannah, GA | 10/19/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Joyce's novel is impossible to film because the peculiarities of its form are unique to the written language. It is the same reason that many films cannot be reduced to words because there is more to them than just a story. "Ulysses" is more than the chain of events through a single day; it encompasses literary allusions, numerous writing styles, and other elements that contribute to the whole, that no film could capture. This is why the film is entitled "Bloom" rather than "Ulysses:" it is an entirely different medium inspired by the novel, not a visual copy of it.
Approaching it as a separate work, rather than a failed transfer of the novel to the screen, avoids disappointment. The cast, mostly lesser-known (at least to me) Irish actors, is wonderful, especially Angeline Ball as Molly Bloom. Her soliloquy is worth the price of admission, and probably contributed to her winning the IFTA Best Actress award for her portrayal. The commentary by director Sean Walsh is one of the better ones I have come across, explaining both his general approach to the film as well as explaining individual decisions. For the viewer unfamiliar with the novel's storyline and the different styles of each chapter, the commentary will assist in their following the action.
The sole disappointment is Stephen Rea, whose familiarity compared to everyone else is distracting. Rea delivers his lines in a thickly accented, incomprehensible mumble that glaringly pointed to the disc's major flaw - a lack of English subtitles (the subtitles are in Spanish only).