Hemingway & Gellhorn

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Hemingway & Gellhorn
Hemingway & Gellhorn poster.jpg
Official poster
Directed by Philip Kaufman
Produced byPeter Kaufman
Trish Hoffman
James Gandolfini
Alexandra Ryan
Barbara Turner
Written by Jerry Stahl
Barbara Turner
Starring Nicole Kidman
Clive Owen
Music by Javier Navarrete
Cinematography Rogier Stoffers
Edited by Walter Murch
Production
company
HBO
Release date
  • May 25, 2012 (2012-05-25)(Cannes)
  • May 28, 2012 (2012-05-28)(United States)
Running time
154 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$14 million [1]

Hemingway & Gellhorn is a 2012 television film directed by Philip Kaufman about the lives of journalist Martha Gellhorn and her husband, writer Ernest Hemingway. The film premiered at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival and aired on HBO on May 28, 2012. [2]

Contents

Plot

Telling the story of one of America’s most famous literary couples, the movie begins in 1936 when the pair meet for the first time in a chance encounter in a Key West bar in Florida.

They encounter each other again a year later in Spain, while both are covering the Spanish Civil War, and staying in the same hotel on the same floor. Initially, Gellhorn resists romantic advances made by the famous author, but during a bombing raid, the two find themselves trapped alone in the same room, and lust overcomes them. They become lovers, and stay in Spain until 1939. Hemingway collaborates with Joris Ivens to produce The Spanish Earth .

In 1940 Hemingway divorces his second wife so that he and Gellhorn can be married. [3] He credits her with having inspired him to write the novel, For Whom the Bell Tolls (1940), and dedicates the work to her. [4]

Over time, however, Gellhorn becomes more prominent in her own right, leading to certain career jealousies between the two. Gellhorn leaves Hemingway to go to Finland to cover the Winter War by herself. When she returns to the Lookout Farm in Havana, Hemingway tells her that he has divorced Pauline.

The two marry and, together, travel to China to cover the bombing attacks by Japan. In China, they interview Chiang Kai-shek and his spouse. Gellhorn is horrified after visiting an opium den. Chiang Kai-shek is fighting the Chinese Communists and Japanese invaders. The two secretly visit Zhou Enlai. Gellhorn covered D-Day in Normandy. She reported on the Dachau and Auschwitz concentration camps.

Lastly, in 1945, Gellhorn became the only one of Hemingway's four wives to ask him for a divorce. [3]

Cast

Production

Pat Jackson, the film's sound effects editor, said that the biggest challenge in doing sound for the film was "making the archival footage and the live-action footage shot locally appear seamless." [5] Much of the film was shot in the San Francisco Bay Area, with the abandoned 16th Street station in Oakland standing in for the Hotel Florida. [6]

Reception

The film received mixed reviews with much praise going for Nicole Kidman's portrayal of Martha Gellhorn. [7] [8] Mark Rozeman of Paste commented "In terms of the acting, there’s little room for complaint. At 45, Kidman remains a fetching and powerful screen presence. Here, she captures Gellhorn’s idealistic, gung-ho leftism without making herself sound overly self-righteous" but was less positive about Clive Owen's role as Ernest Hemingway stating "While Owen easily embodies Hemingway’s extraordinary charisma (and certainly his legendary temper), his performance is often undermined by the British actor’s inability to hold his American accent." [9] Jeremy Heilman of MovieMartyr.com agreed with Roseman's opinions stating "Kidman is strong here as Martha Gellhorn, using her exceptional figure and old-fashioned movie star glamour to full effect" and that Owen's performance was "inconsistent, goofy one moment and strongly seductive the next." [10] Todd McCarthy of The Hollywood Reporter said, "Kidman is terrific in certain scenes and merely very good in others; there are a few too many moments of her traipsing around Spain, blond hair flying glamorously, not knowing quite what she’s doing there. But for the most part, she rivets one’s attention, lifting the entire enterprise by her presence. [11] Odie Henderson, writing for Roger Ebert.com, praised both actors performances while lauding the film's throwback feeling of romance. "The actors are first-rate, down to the supporting roles...This is Kidman's best work in years, smart, brassy, funny, sexy and tough. She brings her A-game because Owen's showier role must be legendary, a larger than life evocation of masculinity suited for the name Hemingway. Cinematographer Rogier Stoffers introduces Owen in a desaturated fishing sequence that culminates in an explosion of bright red blood. Owen's Hemingway grabs the bull by the horns, resisting cliché just barely enough to feel the breath of caricature on his neck. His Russian Roulette pissing contest with an uncredited, equally macho and over the top Robert Duvall is a highlight of the film. Anyone with a romantic appreciation of the male gender will swoon at Owen's constantly revealed chest hair. Everyone else can worship, as Kaufman's camera does, at the altar of Kidman's lower body, with its "legs that start at her shoulders." [12]

The New York Times panned the film, characterizing it as "a disheartening misfire: a big, bland historical melodrama built on platitudes about honor and the writing life that crams in actual figures and incidents but does little to illuminate them, or to make us care about the romance at its center." [13] In a similar vein Vanity Fair observed that "none of the reviews quite prepared me for the unchained malady of Hemingway & Gellhorn." Of the director they say "it’s as if Kaufman answered the call of wild and it turned out to be a loon." [14] The Huffington Post described it as "a gigantic missed opportunity, a jaw-droppingly trying waste of time. Don't let the fancy names in the cast fool you: This is a stupid, stupid movie." [15] Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a 49% score based on 49 reviews, with an average rating of 5.33/10. [16]

Accolades

AwardCategoryRecipient(s)Result
17th Satellite Awards Best Miniseries or Television Film Nominated
Best Actor – Miniseries or Television Film Clive Owen Nominated
Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film Nicole Kidman Nominated
19th Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie Clive Owen Nominated
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie Nicole Kidman Nominated
28th TCA Awards Outstanding Movie, Miniseries, or Special Nominated
64th Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Miniseries or Movie James Gandolfini, Alexandra E. Ryan, Barbara Turner, Peter Kaufman, Nancy Sanders, Trish Hofmann, and Mark ArmstrongNominated
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Movie Clive Owen Nominated
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or Movie Nicole Kidman Nominated
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or Movie David Strathairn Nominated
Outstanding Directing for a Miniseries, Movie, or Dramatic Special Philip Kaufman Nominated
Outstanding Art Direction for a Miniseries, Movie, or Special Jim Erickson, Nanci Noblett, and Geoffrey KirklandNominated
Outstanding Cinematography for a Miniseries, Movie, or Special Rogier StoffersNominated
Outstanding Costumes for a Miniseries, Movie, or Special Ruth Myers Nominated
Outstanding Hairstyling for a Miniseries, Movie, or Special Frances Mathias and Yvette RivasNominated
Outstanding Makeup for a Miniseries or Movie (Non-Prosthetic) Kyra Panchenko, Gretchen Davis, and Paul Pattison Nominated
Outstanding Music Composition for a Miniseries, Movie, or Special (Original Dramatic Score) Javier Navarrete Won
Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Miniseries, Movie, or Special Walter Murch Nominated
Outstanding Sound Editing for a Miniseries, Movie, or Special Kim Foscato, Andy Malcolm, Casey Langfelder, Pete Horner, Joanie Diener, Goro Koyama, Steve Boeddeker, Pat Jackson, Douglas Murray, Andrea S. Gard, and Daniel LaurieWon
Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Miniseries, Movie, or Special Douglas Murray, Pete Horner, Lora Hirschberg, and Nelson Stoll Nominated
Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Miniseries or Movie Nathan Abbot, Kip Larsen, Chris Morley, and Chris PaizisNominated
70th Golden Globe Awards Best Actor – Miniseries or Television Film Clive Owen Nominated
Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film Nicole Kidman Nominated
Directors Guild of America Award Outstanding Directing – Television Film Philip Kaufman Nominated
Visual Effects Society Awards Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Broadcast ProgramNathan Abbot, Kip Larsen, Chris Morley, Christopher PaizisNominated
Outstanding Compositing in a Broadcast ProgramNathan Abbot, Shelley Campbell, Chris Morley, Christopher PaizisNominated
Writers Guild of America Award Long Form – Original Jerry Stahl and Barbara Turner Nominated

Related Research Articles

Ernest Hemingway American author and journalist

Ernest Miller Hemingway was an American novelist, short-story writer, journalist, and sportsman. His economical and understated style—which he termed the iceberg theory—had a strong influence on 20th-century fiction, while his adventurous lifestyle and his public image brought him admiration from later generations. Hemingway produced most of his work between the mid-1920s and the mid-1950s, and he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1954. He published seven novels, six short-story collections, and two nonfiction works. Three of his novels, four short-story collections, and three nonfiction works were published posthumously. Many of his works are considered classics of American literature.

Joris Ivens Dutch documentary filmmaker

Georg Henri Anton "Joris" Ivens was a Dutch documentary filmmaker. Among the notable films he directed or co-directed are A Tale of the Wind, The Spanish Earth, Rain, ...A Valparaiso, Misère au Borinage (Borinage), 17th Parallel: Vietnam in War, The Seine Meets Paris, Far from Vietnam, Pour le Mistral and How Yukong Moved the Mountains.

Nicole Kidman Australian actress and producer

Nicole Mary Kidman is an American-born Australian actress, producer and singer. She has received many accolades throughout her career, including two Primetime Emmy Awards, five Golden Globe Awards, and an Academy Award from four nominations. She was ranked among the world's highest-paid actresses in 2006, 2018, and 2019. Time magazine named her one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2004 and again in 2018. In 2020, The New York Times ranked her fifth on its list of the greatest actors of the 21st century up to that point.

Gloria Rose "Barbara" Turner was an American screenwriter and actress. One of her daughters is the actress Jennifer Jason Leigh.

Martha Gellhorn American journalist

Martha Ellis Gellhorn was an American novelist, travel writer, and journalist who is considered one of the great war correspondents of the 20th century.

Jerry Stahl is an American novelist and screenwriter. His works include the 1995 memoir of addiction Permanent Midnight. A 1998 film adaptation followed with Ben Stiller in the lead role.

Philip Kaufman American film director, screenwriter

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Carlos Baker was an American writer, biographer and former Woodrow Wilson Professor of Literature at Princeton University. He received his B.A. from Dartmouth College and his M.A. from Harvard University. He then received his Ph.D. in English from Princeton University in 1940 after completing a doctoral dissertation titled "The influence of Spencer on Shelley's major poetry." Baker's published works included several novels and books of poetry and various literary criticisms and essays.

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Finca Vigía

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Pauline Pfeiffer

Pauline Marie Pfeiffer was an American journalist, and the second wife of writer Ernest Hemingway.

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The influence of the Winter War in popular culture has been deep and wide, both in Finnish culture and worldwide. The Winter War began three months after World War II started, and the war had full media attention as other European fronts had a calm period.

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The Hotel Florida was situated in Callao Square in central Madrid, Spain. It was built in 1924 and was used as a base by many of the foreign correspondents stationed in Madrid during the Spanish Civil War. While based in Spain as a correspondent for the North American News Association (NANA), Ernest Hemingway stayed at the hotel, where he wrote a play. The hotel was demolished in 1964 and a department store was built on the site.

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References

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  3. 1 2 "A Spanish romance". The Olive Press. December 1, 2010. Retrieved December 14, 2015.
  4. Hemingway, Ernest (1940). For Whom the Bell Tolls. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons. p. vii. This book is for MARTHA GELLHORN.
  5. Buzz, Gator. "A Sound Education". SF State Magazine . Archived from the original on May 4, 2013. Retrieved May 31, 2013.
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  7. Wolcott, James (May 2012). "No Time for Tulips: On Hemingway & Gellhorn". Vanity Fair . Retrieved May 31, 2013.
  8. Tucker, Ken (May 28, 2012). "'Hemingway and Gellhorn' review: The fun also rises?". Entertainment Weekly . Retrieved May 31, 2013.
  9. Rozeman, Mark (April 3, 2013). "Hemingway & Gellhorn". Paste . Retrieved May 31, 2013.
  10. Heilman, Jeremy (June 11, 2012). "Hemingway & Gellhorn (Philip Kaufman, 2012)". MovieMartyr.com. Retrieved May 31, 2013.
  11. McCarthy, Todd (May 25, 2012). "Hemingway & Gellhorn: Cannes Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved May 13, 2018.
  12. Henderson, Odie. "Hemingway & Gellhorn: Corny and canny | TV/Streaming | Roger Ebert". https://www.rogerebert.com/ . Retrieved May 3, 2021.External link in |website= (help)CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  13. Hale, Mike (27 May 2012). "Literary Lions Stalk Each Other Through Wars and Across the World". The New York Times. Retrieved 23 December 2014.
  14. Wolcott, James (23 December 2014). "No Time for Tulips: On Hemingway & Gellhorn". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 23 December 2014.
  15. Ryan, Maureen (25 May 2012). "'Hemingway And Gellhorn' On HBO Review: Nicole Kidman And Clive Owen's Crime Against TV". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 23 December 2014.
  16. "Hemingway & Gellhorn (2012)". Rotten Tomatoes . Retrieved 16 November 2018.