Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Movie Review - The Professor and the Madman

I'm a wordbitch (my husband's nickname for me), so a biopic of the Oxford English Dictionary seemed intriguing just from the get go. Add in Mel Gibson and Sean Penn, and I'm pretty sure I'm going to have a good time. I at least needed to find out if The Professor and the Madman was any good.

Of course I had my doubts. Mel Gibson has taken a lot of guff, and Sean Penn is sometimes off the wall himself. Dramas and biopics can sometimes be too full of themselves, far too artsy, and it might have bored me.

Surprisingly, this was very good. Compelling. It was both a close-up character drama and a broad-scope of human struggles. It had me horrified where I was supposed to be horrified, cheering where I was supposed to, sad and hopeful and happy.

Sean Penn was engrossing with his decent into madness and path to possible redemption. Mel Gibson is a thoughtful obsessive that genuinely wants to leave the world a better place. Natalie Dormer is the tragic widow struggling with facing her husband's killer. Jennifer Ehle really shines in a supporting role, supporting her husband, and I felt such sympathy for her character and the position she was forced into.

I highly recommend this movie, regardless of any personal feelings on any of the actors. The story transcends real-life bullshit, and should be experienced.

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