Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.
USA, 1996. Dimitri Villard Productions, New Line Cinema. Screen story by Allan Scott, Dimitri Villard, Screenplay by Allan Scott, Clancy Sigal, Anna Hamilton Phelan, based on the book Hemingway In Love And War by Henry S. Villard, James Nagel. Cinematography by Roger Pratt. Produced by Richard Attenborough, Dimitri Villard. Music by George Fenton. Production Design by Stuart Craig. Costume Design by Penny Rose. Film Editing by Lesley Walker. Berlin Film Festival 1997.
Idiotic war epic tries to tell the true story that inspired Ernest Hemingway to write A Farewell To Arms. Chris O’Donnell makes a simpering Hemingway who, while recuperating from a battle wound in a World War I hospital, falls in love with his polite and kind nurse (Sandra Bullock), but she keeps their romance on a slow simmer due to their difference in age. Richard Attenborough’s direction is completely lifeless, leaving characters that don’t go far beyond bad paperback romance icons, populating the film with wanly photographed images of romanticized battlegrounds. Interestingly enough, production designer Stuart Craig did both this lazy epic as well as Anthony Minghella’s stunning The English Patient, a clear indication of the director’s influence on the design process. Bullock seems to want to shine in one of her few dramatic roles, but her character comes off as boring and unmotivated more than gentle and subdued, and O’Donnell simply plays Hemingway as an overgrown spoiled brat.