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TIFF Capsule Review: 'Arthur Newman'

By Jason Anderson | Indiewire September 11, 2012 at 9:07AM

It takes some doing to make the only interesting thing about a character the fact that he has faked his own disappearance and assumed a new identity. Nevertheless, the title character in “Arthur Newman” – played by Colin Firth at his dourest – proves to be such a bore that it’s downright miraculous he finds the gumption to pull off this piece of “Passenger”-like subterfuge in the early scenes of this relentlessly drab and thoroughly enervating debut feature by Dante Ariola. The script by Becky Johnston (“The Prince of Tides,” “Seven Years in Tibet”) is a hefty serving of Middle American angst that becomes more leaden and aimless with every passing moment. Not even the usually sprightly presence of Emily Blunt – who plays a troubled woman who becomes Arthur’s traveling companion on his quest to remake himself – offers any respite from the tedium created by this lugubrious, self-important and ultimately trite drama. Criticwire grade: D [Jason Anderson]
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It takes some doing to make the only interesting thing about a character the fact that he has faked his own disappearance and assumed a new identity. Nevertheless, the title character in “Arthur Newman” – played by Colin Firth at his dourest – proves to be such a bore that it’s downright miraculous he finds the gumption to pull off this piece of “Passenger”-like subterfuge in the early scenes of this relentlessly drab and thoroughly enervating debut feature by Dante Ariola. The script by Becky Johnston (“The Prince of Tides,” “Seven Years in Tibet”) is a hefty serving of Middle American angst that becomes more leaden and aimless with every passing moment. Not even the usually sprightly presence of Emily Blunt – who plays a troubled woman who becomes Arthur’s traveling companion on his quest to remake himself – offers any respite from the tedium created by this lugubrious, self-important and ultimately trite drama. Criticwire grade: D [Jason Anderson]

This article is related to: Toronto International Film Festival, Reviews, Dante Ariola, Arthur Newman






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