1 June 2006 | ducdebrabant
An Abomination with a Few Redeeming Features
The filmmakers built up the part of Brett's Russian admirer for Leonard Nimoy, and added a murder -- not trusting the Hemingway plot to hold the audience. I actually liked Hart Bochner's world weary hero, and Jane Seymour isn't bad. Robert Carradine is absolutely marvelous -- one of our most underrated actors. The movie gets the period pretty well, and the real locations help a great deal. But Leonard Nimoy ........ oh. my. God. He is truly terrible. He disdains to trouble himself with any sort of Russian accent, and his mustache twirling turn is phony baloney every step of the way. I have never looked at him the same way since. This is basically a project designed to say, loudly, that Hemingway's novel cannot be dramatized. That's pretty much its message, forget the Lost Generation stuff, even though the script does treat of the horribleness of WW1 and its aftermath. Considering how awful this travesty is, I don't think its makers are in any position to criticize the original material. I await another Sun Also Rises adaptation that stays true to the original, as this does not, gets the period (as this does and the 20th Century Fox film does not) and gives us a Jake and a Robert Cohn this effective, and a Brett a little more so. Seymour, as I say, isn't bad (she gets Brett's privileged Englishwoman dimension down pat), but she's not ideal. Gardner had the hormonal quality Brett needs, but couldn't do the upper class Englishwoman thing one bit.