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  • This is an easy vote. A real, well acted old time story of star crossed loves. Cutting edge acting by Vincent D'Onofrio as Robert and his girl Rene Z. An emotional, tender, and heartbreaking story. Both actors pull out your emotions and put them through the wringer. Beautifully filmed and the music fits the mood. Vincent was perfect. His intense face, which he uses as an emotional barometer, captures and relays the tortures Robert E Howard experienced. It is how films used to be - memorable. This was Rene Z's first serious work, and I will say she has never come close again in touch the emotional triggers although she is big box office. Her thanks to Vincent on receiving her first Academy awards speaks volumes " Thank you Vincent for teaching me how to work." They were a lovely team together with a special bond both actors created together. I did not want to leave the characters and return to reality. In closing, this "little movie" budget wise and distribution wise, is actually a far greater achievement then it's modest budget could foresee. This film should have been dubbed as one of the greats instead of shelved and forgotten.
  • retst211 August 2005
    I found this movie while searching through a reduced DVD bin. But once I saw Vincent D'onofrio in the lead I knew I would not be disappointed; and of course I wasn't.

    He is one of the most talented and underrated actors gracing the indie screen today. Although he has had several big budget roles (MIB-The Cell to name a couple) he is a character actor and does extremely well with character driven films.

    I'd never heard of Robert E. Howard until I watched the WWW and I couldn't think of a better person to introduce him to me than Mr. D'onofrio. The way he portrays his tortured existence and his need for companionship and acceptance was done with such brilliance and conviction, you can really appreciate how much Bob Howard lived inside his own head and yet longed to be part of the world around him.

    Renee Zellweger also turned in a notable performance as Novaline Price. She skillfully portrayed the love, hope and irritation she often had for Bob. Together D'onofrio and Zellwegger not only showed the pain of unrequited love, but the richness of friendship.

    I recommend this film to anyone looking for great acting, wonderful cinematography and a delightful score. Curl up, turn the lights down, and enjoy. I promise the characters will stay with you long after the final credits.
  • Before I saw this movie a few years ago, I had never heard of "Robert E Howard". Since then, I've educated myself on who Robert E Howard was...and who Novalynn was. He was extraordinary and she drank him up. It's incredible that someone took her book and made a movie out of the story. Even more incredible is how perfectly it was all orchestrated. The characters were fantastic (Especially Vincent DiOnofrio). The script was great, the filmwork was beautiful, the timing was right on. I will never grow tired of this movie. And I'll continue to turn it onto whoever comes over to my house and hasn't seen it yet. The Whole Wide World is a masterpiece!
  • I was thrilled to read the (almost) unanimous praise for this FANTASTIC little movie by fellow viewers, and I must chime in with my wholehearted agreement. Every once in a while you blunder across an under-financed and straight-to-video movie that just absolutely flattens you with that rare convergence of talent, story & production, and you're reminded anew of just how powerful a film can be.

    Most of the previous postings give a good outline of the plot, so I won't recap it here. "The Whole Wide World" is remarkable in all sorts of ways, but I must use my space here to further celebrate the masterful acting of the leads, Vincent D'Onfrio (as Bob Howard) and Renee (as Novalyne Price). Indeed, the skill of the portrayals completely conveys the sense of time, place and emotional temperament necessary to draw us into their worlds--and break our hearts. And yeah, you're just absolutely made of stone if you're not weeping just a little as the credits roll(or trying hard not to). It's testament to D'Onfrio's amazing talent that we can clearly see Bob's misanthropic shortcomings, but still we hope this tragic misfit of a guy can (as another fan wrote here)"meet her half way." A DEEP, insightful performance by Vincent who has quietly been doing the same in lesser roles for decades now.

    And I gotta give Renee her full due as well. She was EXCELLENT, fully credible, spiky, tender, flirtatious, frustrated, and ultimately emotionally exhausted trying to figure out this neurotic but strangely charming man she tried to get close to. Seeing this movie reminds me of "Casablanca" in the sense that you can't imagine anyone else in the Bogart & Bergman roles; no doubt other actors would have given their all, but I can't see how anyone other than Vincent & Renee could have spiked our hearts so fiercely.

    Who would have ever thought that such a GREAT movie could be made of the abortive love life of Robert E. Howard? Of course that's not really what makes the movie great--as Flaubert said when asked to identify Madame Bovary, he replied "I am;" and so it is with "The Whole Wide World," where we are poignantly reminded of our own failures to engage with life and love in the ways we believe they should play out.

    Again, I'm THRILLED to see how many other fans recognize the unique quality of this movie. I encountered it obliquely, noting its synopsis in the New Yorker back in '96 and thinking "what a curious thing to base a movie on." For some reason my sister tracked it down and loaned me a dubbed-from-TV video cassette; crummy video and sound, but the movie still BLEW ME AWAY (and it still does--thankfully it's now available on DVD). Given Renee's star power I don't think it will ever vanish completely, but we can only hope others will take a chance on this little masterpiece so it can one day receive the acclaim its excellence deserves.

    I'd also be remiss if I didn't put in a small plug here for Robert E. Howard the pulp fictioneer; it wasn't complete hyperbole for Novalyne to dub him "the best pulp fiction writer..." His writing stands up well today; plenty of brawny page-turning adventure that still delivers fabulous escapist thrills for guys. But if some of us guys can watch this movie and worship it, I'd bet at least a few of the girls can read some Robert E. Howard today and get a sense of the tough-but-hurting guy depicted in the movie. But one certainly need not read Howard to appreciate this amazing movie on its own stellar merits.
  • It's a good film, but it's absolutely painful to watch, as you repeatedly wish they'd put aside their insecurities and get together. The best screen kiss in recent memory is in this film and it gives you a taste of the power they would've had if they would've always stayed together, instead of straying alone. One of the most emotionally abusive films of the last year, it's more of a realistic romance instead of the perfect one featured in films such as "You've Got Mail". This and many other films serve as a reminder that most great romances are not without torturous actions from both halves.
  • If there was only 1 movie ever, I would suggest anyone to watch, this would be the movie that I would suggest. I came across it on Netflix, DVD rentals, and rented it because the storyline seemed interesting, and I like Renee. I had never heard of this movie, and at the time it came out in 1996, I was working too many hours to even know what was in the movie theaters. Vincent D'Onofrio is more than amazing in this role, and should have been nominated and won the Oscar for this part. For me, his portrayal of his character in this movie is the best I have ever seen any actor do. Vincent's portrayal brings out Renee's character beautifully; how could she not act like she did, working against such an amazing actor. This screenplay is beautifully written, from Novalyne Price-Ellis's true book she wrote herself, covering her relationship with Robert E. Howard. I had no idea who he was, but after this movie, have read up on his life, and will purchase Novalyne's book, "One Who Walked ALone", from which this movie was taken. Great directing, screenplay, photography, acting, music; a movie that could not have been put together any more beautifully. BRAVO to all, thank you for one of the best movie experiences I have had, at the age of 48. Shame on whomever did not spend the money to distribute and advertise the heck out of this movie when it came out in 1996. I will purchase the DVD, and will buy it for gifts for many, but wish they had put more in the "special features", than only Renee's chat. Why not all of the "deleted scenes", "the making of", etc...Janet, NYC, Feb 2007
  • I love listening to the audio commentaries after I've watched a film. It shows me how much the actors or crew members felt making the film. There is a big difference between a film and a movie. A film holds you to your seat because of the quality of the writing and acting. A movie is usually exciting, but it may or may not have persons who can or cannot act in it's line-up. I consider "The Whole Wide World" in the former category. I can't say enough about this film.

    The story is simple enough. Vincent D'Onofrio plays Robert E. Howard, arguably the greatest pulp magazine writer of all time. He is the creator of the Conan series of magazine and movie fame. Howard falls in love with Novalyn Price, a woman who wants to be an author, but has no talent. She is played by Renn' Zellweger, who brings fire to this "mousey" character. Price realizes her destiny lays in teaching and pursues that course in her life. Zellweger's performance is exceptional as her 5'5" frame faces down the 6'4" frame of D'Onofrio.

    D'Onofrio's performance in this film is beyond exceptional. He kept me emotionally attached to the character of Howard through out the film. I cried at the end.

    As one of the producers of this film, D'Onofrio was able to keep the film on track. But something tells me that he believed so much in the film that he took on the problems himself and protected the project. I loved the Greyhound bus, by the way. It was one of his additions.

    This film was Dan Ireland's first major film and he did exceptionally well. He knew the caliber of actors he was working with and let them do their job. The actors also let him do his job as well. Surprisingly in the commentary I could tell that he watched his stars and learned from them

    Like I said, I can't say enough about this film. I rented it from Netflix and have watched it several times. It is definitely a keeper and my order on Amazon is already in the works.
  • A wonderful romantic movie and obviously a labor of love for all concerned in its production. "One Who Walked Alone" as a miraculously excellent memoir, written by Novaline Price-Ellis decades after the events portrayed, based upon notes she had written at the time. The interplay between Novaline and Robert is mostly conversations when he takes her for a drive and "shoots off his mouth." Here's the greatest action writer in history, with worldwide fans, living with his mother in a town where nobody sees him as either hero or star, just a big over-sized hunk who lives with his folks. Vincent d'Ofrino is ALWAYS a joy to watch and Rene Zellwiger can always be depended upon for a solid performance. As for sex appeal, Rene is definitely not a plump or fat Brigit Jones but rather she's slender, lithe, and not heavy enough to hold down a job as a paperweight. In other words, just what this 6'4" hunk goes after --- every time. But aside from that, Whole Wide World is the kind of great movie you'll never forget. Search for it in VHS or DVD and go to a specialty store if need be.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I have to admit up front, I originally sought this movie out because I'm a dedicated fan of the enigmatic pulp genius Robert E. Howard, who ended his prolific career by a self-inflicted gunshot to the head in 1936. This movie is based on the memoirs of a woman he was involved with named Novalyn Price. So again to be up front, this movie is very pleasing to me as a fan of Bob Howard. It reveals some of the negative aspects of this man (although skimming clear of his extreme racist views, which to be fair he tended to show more in his writing than in his personal behavior) but also shows us a lot of his heart and the beauty of his writer's soul that always found such tortured expression in the famous "Conan" and "Solomon Kane" stories. But I think the movie is going to be just as pleasing to those who are not fans of Howard's writing -- perhaps even more so, because this isn't really a movie just about a writer, it's about a relationship between two writers. And it's a messy, very realistic relationship at that.

    This was a very early film for Renee Zellweger, and I was impressed right away with the ability she shows here in this film. None of her subsequent and often acclaimed performances have matched what she did here, opposite the great character actor Vincent D'Onofrio who brings Howard himself to vivid life. The movie is all about these 2 people -- there are no action scenes, there is no real drama except a manufactured drama that Bob Howard creates to compensate for his inadequacy and lack of resolve. There are many powerful scenes where these 2 people are consumed in an atmosphere of natural beauty, which suggests the world of imagination inside these writers -- Novalyn says from the hillside "you can see the whole wide world from up here" and Howard says "other worlds, too." Always the sense of what Bob Howard's imaginary world could look like is bubbling beneath the surface of what we see -- never do the film-makers stoop to any actual visualization of the fantasy universe, but sound effects and music are effectively used to create that sense of his dangerous and exotic fantasy world, while at the same time there is an emptiness around Novalyn's literary aspirations which contrasts with it. There are always two stories battling here -- a love story between two human beings and a sort of journey in stasis between two writers.

    There's no way to put into precise words just how incredible I think D'Onofrio's performance is here. Again, as a longtime fan of Bob Howard, I can say that the performance matches my image of him down to the smallest physical mannerisms. As a treat for fans we even get to see Bob in his late phase when he wore a sombrero and liked to walk the streets of El Paso "disguised" as a Mexican. All of Bob's paranoia and his contradictions are on display, and even more fascinating when put into the light of day by dramatic action -- he was a man whose ego demanded absolute self-sufficiency, but who had such deep emotional ties to his small circle of family and friends that he was unable to cope with any kind of loss in his life. The manufactured drama when Bob finds out that Novalyn is dating his friend Truett is just one of the more harmless examples of this, but Novalyn's perspective as expressed in the film enables us to see how deeply Bob Howard's behavior must have hurt and alienated the very people he needed and trusted so deeply. The pain and confusion are brilliantly expressed in Zellweger's performance, and there are also a pair of excellent supporting performances from Ann Wedgeworth and Harve Presnell as the Howard parents.

    This is a beautiful film, this is a film that has a world of emotion while having absolutely no stylized or melodramatic plot devices to push us one way or the other in our feelings -- it just unfolds at the pace of its story and draws us in to the lives of 2 people in a particular place and time. They are people who don't seem to fit -- a big awkward hulk of a fantasy writer whose hard working Texan neighbors think he's a sissy, and a headstrong woman trying to make a career for herself in the same conservative universe. But through the eye of this cinematic gem, they both seem to belong in this time and place and we feel as if they left a bit of their hearts behind in their writings so that we could discover it with them.
  • I saw online that this movie would be on TV and, since I love Renee Zellweger, I decided to give it a try. What I found was a rare movie that combines a tragic yet realistic romance with over-the-top performances that make the movie worth watching. For some it might get off to a slow start, but stay with it if you're the least bit interested. I made the mistake of playing around on the computer the first time I watched it, and I missed a lot. This movie deserves your full attention.

    Based on the memoir by Novalyn Price about her relationship with pulp writer Bob Howard, the film does an excellent job of showing the on-and-off romance between grade-school teacher Novalyn and full-time writer Bob from both sides. Novalyn truly likes Bob, even loves him at one point, but Bob rides her off, saying "he can't be tied down." But once Novalyn starts dating Truett Benson, Bob's friend, Bob suddenly realizes what a special person Novalyn is and that he can't live without her. He tries several attempts to win her back, but all end either in tears or a fight. Every time Novalyn tries to give him a second chance to prove he loves her, he goes and spends all his time caring for his sick mother, not leaving her for a second. I know you're saying, "What's wrong with that? It just means he loved his mama." But as Novalyn points out, Bob is a grown man who should be leading his own life and being able to let go of his mother and get out once in awhile.

    While most movies like these just go on and on about how one person can't live without the other, this one has you wondering if the two will really end up together. And unlike most romances where you're waiting for them to unlock lips, "Wide World" takes many twists and turns in the romance department;you may think you know what's going to happen, but you really don't [unless you already know the complete full story of Howard's life].

    The performances by the two leads alone make the movie worth watching;anyone who appreciates good acting should definitely check this one out. Vincent D'Nofrio is amazing, in a performance that would make the real Bob Howard proud I'm sure. He was really overlooked and should have gotten way more recognition for this role. If his other movies are as good as this, it's really sad he doesn't have a more well-known career. There is some justice in the world though, because Renee Zellweger has gone on to become a major star after this part, as she should have. She has a warmth and sincerity that comes across in her acting and makes you root for her the whole time. You often forget she's acting because her delivery is so natural, and she has several emotional scenes to show her depth. I;m a big fan of hers, and this movie didn't disappoint. It's too bad this movie didn't get more recognition, but do yourself a favor and catch it the next time it's on TV. You won't be sorry.
  • Usually I treat "love stories" with a thinly veiled contempt. Call me cynical, but most are contrived, sappy, and predictable. The Whole Wide World is anything but, and like most stories that break your heart, it's a true one - not something created by the overactive imagination of a Hollywood exec.

    The basic story: based on the memoirs of Novalyne Price, The Whole Wide World is her recollection of the relationship she had with Conan creator and pulp fiction writer, Robert E. Howard, before his tragic suicide. The time period is 1930's and the place is small town Texas. Novalyne is a school teacher who wishes to be a published writer, and Howard is already established as a pulp fiction maverick. Both are in their late 20's.

    The performances in this film are outstanding. Vincent D'Onofrio practically leaps off of the screen. His character is infuriating, heartbreaking, yet so fragile. Renee Zellweger filmed this movie just before she got the call to appear in Jerry Macguire, and she shines as Novalyne Price. Price was a smart, witty, and stubborn lady - in a time when such things were not considered very ladylike. Novalyne and Robert were introduced by a mutual acquaintance, and thus began their disjointed and devoted friendship.

    There was obviously so much love between them, but circumstances, Howard's mental illness, and his unreasonable devotion to his mother prevented the ir relationship from ever reaching it's potential. The film shows their ups and downs and the connection they had between them. It's a tragic, very real human story and more than worth two hours of your time. Just make sure you have a tissue ready because it is a tear jerker. It never lowers itself to petty sentimentality though. The Whole Wide World will touch you via pure emotional story telling - kudos to the writer who adapted Price's novel.

    It's criminal that the DVD and video are not available in the United States! Various cable channels are playing it regularly, and the DVD is available in Canada. Try to catch it if you can!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    All the praise for this movie in the other comments here should be taken as read. This is one of my favourite films, for many many reasons.

    It should be noted that the story is very much from Novalyne Price's viewpoint, which explains the movie-of-the-week feel that sometimes arises. If this movie had been shot from Howard's point of view, we can be pretty sure it would have been a lot darker, more lurid and more violent! The way the film supports Novalyne's opinions rather than Howard's is, I guess, in keeping with the story, i.e. romance foundering on Novalyne's inability to accept Howard for who he is, flaws and all. (Am I the only one who thought Novalyne was heartless to insist Howard stop caring for his dying mother?) It's an age-old story: the pain of romance made impossible by differing interests and natures.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This film covers themes of how people are creative and, also, how love can fade - the demands the odd writer makes on the more conventional school teacher who is intrigued by him are too great for her, although she tries - it is her own wish to be a writer that leads her to him shamelessly - and it is mixed in with her dream of who she might be. d'Onofrio turns in a convincing performance - and despite the oddness of the writer he portrays, we are charmed by him - no mean feat. and i think Renee Zelwenger gives one of the best performances i've seen from her - without that cutesy stuff she does aimed at seducing men. it is as good as she was in Cold Mountain. This is not a big screen film,however, and yet it is powerful for all that.
  • James Owen29 January 2006
    Clearly from the comments previously posted about this film there is a fan-base out there for it, but one which this audience member finds surprising. There is more to 'The Whole Wide World' than most Hollywood romances, indeed it's refreshing to have a decent rom without the annoying com.

    The problem is the succession of arguments between the two lead characters becomes so repetitive that although this film runs for under two hours it repeats itself and eventually becomes quite boring.

    As pulp writing legend Robert Howard, the alternatively sexy Vincent D'Onofrio is on good form, allowed to exercise his unique ability to deliver bellowed diatribes, and Renée Zellweger performs well in the role of a meek-yet-spitfired-girl-next-door-teacher-type turned on by a brilliant outcast, a character which surely engages the bookish fantasies of the female audience this chick flick will most likely appeal to, as she becomes a heroine for ultimately tolerating Howard's volatile insecurities. Ain't that always the way, huh ladies?

    Taken from that characters true life memoirs the script is centred firmly on her experience of Howard which leaves the characters slightly one dimensional, and we actually learn very little about a potentially fascinating man, indeed we shouldn't think of this as being a film about Howard or whatever made him tick.

    Special mentions goes to the very last scene is a typically saccharine Hollywood ending, with obvious conclusions presumably reiterated to elicit tears.

    So what do we have? A watchable if repetitive and melodramatic romance that's slightly better than most Hollywood offerings. Nothing less, and, despite what some hyperbolic reviews say here, certainly nothing more.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I saw this film at the theater - with, I think five other people. I was the only male human in the crowd, the rest were middle-aged women, no doubt "chick flick" fans. Not what I expected... I had assumed that I'd have to carve a path through the Corsairs before claiming my seat! The smell of death was all around, the floor slippery with the blood of those slain in battle...

    Oops, got ahead of myself. I'm a big fan of Robert E. Howard's work, especially Conan (though Solomon Kane is a great character as well). His personal "weirdness" is well-documented, etc., etc. The film pulls no punches about it at all...

    This is a film for writers - especially "new" writers who "need" to learn the history of American heroic fiction - because the Weird Tales days represented the pinnacle of that genre. It's also a film for high school English teachers; I'd make it mandatory. The reason is that REH's contributions to the body of American literature is genuinely important. Without his successes (he made money off his writing), I suspect August Derleth wouldn't have been as successful at publishing and thus Ray Bradbury wouldn't have been as successful as he is.

    Everyone: watch this film, study this film, seek out Robert E. Howard's books. If you are unfamiliar with the GREAT writing Howard, Lovecraft, Clark Ashton Smith, et al, this film will introduce the early 1930's pulp writer's world to you...

    As Robert E. Howard, Vince D'Onfrio gives what I think is his absolute best performance. What he's doing in Law & Order: CI, or whatever supporting roles he gets (MIB, etc.), and his future roles, are never going to be this good. In fact, a lot of them aren't worth bothering with at all (e.g., The Cell).

    It's also the only movie with Renee Zellweger worth watching (OK, Jerry Maguire's good). Yeah, hers is the main character, but she's perfectly cast, rather than (hey, I'm entitled to my opinion) the astonishingly successful mis-casting her as a vamp in anything...

    MINOR SPOILERS Best scene: we see Robert E. Howard typing out a story - and he's yelling out the action at the typewriter.

    Disappointment: H.P. Lovecraft is mentioned in one scene, but I wish they had another scene regarding the letter-writing relationship between HPL and REH, among others.

    I wrote to L. Sprague De Camp (who was alive in 1996) about this film (De Camp owned the rights to all things REH and is responsible for REH's being hoisted out of obscurity 40 or so years ago) and about Kull (ugh) - another REH-created film. He sent me back an autographed picture!
  • Jam22718 November 2009
    Instead of watching another "so-so" movie, give this one a try. There's not a lot of action (no car chases, etc.), but it is an intelligent movie with good acting, good writing, and a story you probably never heard. I am not a Renee Zellweger fan but as this is one of her earlier films, she is watchable. She is very good as a small town teacher/writer wanna be. Vincent D'Onofrio is great in the lead. It is hard to believe he is a New Yorker as he becomes this troubled Texan. You will probably cry at least once while watching it. The DVD was actually cut, leaving out some "not essential(?)" portions that would have made the movie better.
  • Set in 1930's small town Texas are two unlikely characters: one who is an accomplished writer and one who "wants to be". Their journey is a rare story these days (writing this in 2009) in writing or on the screen. Not since watching "84 Charring Cross Road" have I applauded such realism. Bob Howard, famed author of "Conan the Barbarian" is seen as he was in real life through the eyes of an unusually brave woman, Novalyne Price (the story taken directly from her book "One Who Walked Alone").

    Howard (played by Vincent D'Onofrio) was a real loner who found himself in love; an impossible situation for any recluse, let alone a perhaps misunderstood misanthropic one. Price (played by Rene Zellweger), carries the other hard end of the bargain, a sociable yet independent single woman in 1930's Texas who's burden of loving him is even more unimaginable to bear, but not in any of the trite ways one might think. Most of us cower from those who do not "behave" as society dictates, or to be more blunt, as our loved ones dictate; Price does and doesn't, in a classy yet grounded blend of grace. Both characters are surprising and totally human. Shot in only 24 days, this "little" movie is a buy-to-own keeper. No wonder Zellweger went on to movie stardom after this role.

    To quote Rene, her performance is in part "Many thanks to Vincent". An amazing portrait of the best of both actor's range of talent. Recommended highly.
  • moonspinnergd27 February 2007
    I originally purchased this film on DVD because I'm a fan of Vincent D'Onofrio. The only thing I knew about the story was from the short synopsis in the DVD listing. Little did I know that I was going to have the most profound film experience of my life. It's a heartbreakingly beautiful story told in such a vivid yet subtle way. The cinematography is gorgeous. The acting is brilliant. If this film had gotten the attention it truly deserves when it was made, there's no doubt in my mind that it would have taken Best Actor, Best Actress, and Best Picture at the Academy Awards. I really wish I could have seen it on the big screen. Everyone should see this film.
  • Hi, I think that this movie is awesome! I say that because Dan Ireland is my great uncle, hes my dads uncle! I also say that because, I've seen it and it is a wonderful movie and I think my uncle did a wonderful job on it. His other movies were wonderful too. He told me that he was working on another movie thats a comedy which should be wonderful to see! Uncle Dan will continue to make more movies and my father just told me about the preview he went to just a little while a go. This movie is so awesome! it was Renee Zellwegers first movie and ever since shes been a wonderful actress, everybody in this movie was awesome and i think my uncle did a wonderful job at directing. Well thank you for reading , Taylor Victoria Ireland.
  • This is a nice movie, nicely shot and well-acted, but there was some kind of lack of depth to it that kept me from liking it more.

    A problem for me was that we learn so little about Robert E. Howard. We don't learn much about his writing in the movie either. The movie begins when he is already regularly being published in the pulps. We don't really learn anything about events prior to that. We don't know much about his relationship with his mother and father, or his two male friends. Everything is pretty much from Novalyne's knowledge of him, and while I understand that the film was based on her memoirs of him, I wish other sources about his life had been delved into. Perhaps not much more is known, in which case I suppose it is better or fairer not to speculate.
  • Don't bother yourself! Don't even pick this up to read the box at the video store! For the first hour wondering if anything was going to happen! Boring writing. Boring Acting. Boring scenes. Just plain Boring! Grab any video around it on the shelf! It can't be any worse than this!
  • marcosaguado14 March 2004
    What a nice surprise. Romantic, without being corny Intelligent, without ever being pretentious or high brow. Moving, without ever falling into sentimentality. Renee Zellweger's performance is, without question, her best. And Vincent D'Onofrio is just heart breakingly wonderful. What an underrated actor he is. The movie never falls into the usual common places, it keeps you longing for their love to bloom. The score is also superb. Most highly recommended.
  • I stumbled on this sad little romance by accident a while ago. The story is a trifle: mostly syrupy and sentimentally forced. But I thought the ending was very sad and heartbreaking. It enabled me to view the film again and rethink it. It worked for me on the second viewing; I found out this is a true story, based on a memoir by Novalyne Price about her brief love affair with Robert E. Howard. It is honest and truthful, with superb performances by Renee Zelleweger and especially Vincent D'Onofrio.

    The film deserves to be seen more than once to fully appreciate it.
  • Before coming across this film on TV, quite by accident, I had never heard anything about it. I knew who Robert E. Howard was, because my husband grew up with his Conan stories, but I knew nothing at all about his life. I feel very fortunate to have thus stumbled onto this remarkable little gem without any prior expectations, the pleasure of discovery adding even more to what would have been, in any event, a delightful experience.

    Vincent D'Onofrio is an amazingly gifted actor, completely different in every role but always intelligent, fascinating and compelling. This film is no exception and may be his best work to date. His performance is brilliant, filled with subtlety and nuance, fire and ice, joy and pain, madness, profundity and beauty. It is utterly mesmerizing. The depth and complexity of his portrayal is astonishing, from the flick of an eyebrow to the quiver in his voice to the awkward stride as he walks down a dusty street. He creates a character so unforgettable and so unique that it is difficult to believe he was a real person.

    Renee Zellweger is a perfect balance to D'Onofrio. Her talent is well known, but I liked her better in this film than in anything else I've seen. Again, her characterization was complex, full of intelligence, sensitivity and intensity. The interplay of these two talented actors is a thing of beauty and a joy to watch. The script is literate and intelligent, the direction is perfect and the cinematography is stunning. For reasons I'm not sure I can explain, I found it reminiscent of "Shadowlands," another film of rare intelligence and exquisite beauty.

    "The Whole Wide World" is altogether a wonderful and unusual film. I plan to own it and expect to watch it many more times in the future. I think a rating of 10 out of 10 is obligatory.
  • It's thrilling that The Whole Wide World is on DVD at long last! It's an experience you'll never forget! Renee Zellweger has never been spunkier or cuter or had more character. You'll fall in love with Vincent D'Onofrio and care deeply about the life of Robert E. Howard and of Novalyne Price. Thank you, Dan Ireland, for such a moving and meaningful movie about the creator of Conan the Barbarian and the wonderful young teacher he fell in love with. After seeing the movie, I bought the book One Who Walked Alone and have desperately sought all I can find about this movie. And yes, that kiss is the most amazing and breathtaking ever! I LOVE The Whole Wide World!
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