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  • The Words opens with author Clay Hammond (Denis Quaid) giving a reading for his recent best-selling book, The Words. Hammond's reading takes us into the life of his character, Rory Jansen (Bradley Cooper), a young author struggling to publish his books make ends meet.

    One night, Jansen discovers an old manuscript hidden in an antique briefcase that his wife Dora (Zoe Saldana) purchased for him on their honeymoon in Paris. He reads the yellowed first-draft of the novel, marveling at the unknown author's talent.

    Jansen struggles with what he should do with the masterpiece he's found. Eventually, he decides to type the entire novel on his laptop so he can "feel the words flow" through his own fingers.

    When his wife sees the novel on his computer, she—in typical Hollywood fashion—assumes he wrote it and praises him for his depth and creativity before he has a chance to tell her the truth.

    From here, the film skips back and forth between the fictional Rory and Dora Jansen, and the story of their creator, Clay Hammond.

    Rory publishes the manuscript under his own name and struggles with the repercussions, while in "real life," Hammond flirts with a young college student named Daniella (Olivia Wilde) at his sophisticated book reading. Despite the film's fluctuating story lines, The Words' plot is addictively intriguing and surprisingly easy to follow. My family doesn't often sit down to watch a movie without a magazine or iPad in hand, but this movie kept us all riveted.

    It's also worth noting that we had our eyes glued to the screen in the absence of explosions, sex scenes, or significant amounts of humor. The film's mysterious and captivating plot line—along with simple but genuine characters—were enough to hold our attention.

    The story expands when the true author of Jansen's novel (Jeremy Irons, the "Old Man") approaches Jansen and reveals his heart-wrenching account of the loss of his manuscript and family. His tale transports us to Paris during World War II, adding another captivating plot line to the already multi-layered story.

    In addition to an elevated storyline, the Old Man's account in the movie adds a deeper visual element to the film. A relatively low-budget, low-key film, The Words clearly made the most of its production site in Montreal, Canada. Shots of present-day New York and 1940s Paris are both believable and idealistic, effortlessly transporting viewers from modern day to war time.

    As Bradley Cooper's character becomes a liar of extraordinary proportions, I still found myself rooting for him throughout the film. Jansen's shortcomings raise many stimulating questions about truth and integrity, while his struggle for achievement and creativity makes him highly relatable (especially as a writer).

    While the movie held my interest the majority of the time, I felt much less invested in the real-life storyline of author Clay Hammond's and student Daniella. The only thing that kept me interested in the seedy, wealthy author and his adoring fan was the question of how they tied in to Rory Jansen's story.

    And that is, perhaps, the great mystery of the film—why does Rory Jansen matter to Clay Hammond, and vice versa?

    The pursuit of an answer to this question, along with stimulating questions of integrity and consequence are what make The Words a must-see movie for anyone who desires meaningful conversation at the end of a film. It makes us question our motives and beliefs, and it gives a sympathetic face to the "struggling artist" stigma. Considering I'd never heard of the movie until I rented it, I'd say it's highly underrated.
  • The Words draws you in with its beautiful cinematography and engaged dialog. I was especially impressed with the layers of the presentation. Most films these days will spoon feed you a flat story and leave no room for personal interpretation. The Words layers a complex open-ended plot that demands viewer involvement. I was surprised with the simple surface story presented as each deeper layer was uncovered. Sometimes it came as a subtle hint when other times it hits you straight in the face. The film has the flavor of Memento or Inception; which is refreshing these days. Bradley Cooper surpassed my expectations. I never once saw his type-cast Hangover/Limitless ticks or mannerisms. He was completely in touch with the character and never fell back on default techniques.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I think this movie is a masterpiece and a breath of fresh air in film storytelling and personally I think this is the best movie of 2012.

    Bradley Cooper has been applauded for his performance in Silver Linings Playbook witch was great, but his performance in this movie is equally good. Added with the performance of Dennis Quaid, Jeremy Irons, Olivia Wilde and Ben Barnes makes this a great cast.

    Almost everyone that i have spoken to that have seen this movie have their own little twists on the story and how it comes together. The important part is not that all agrees on every little detail of the story. I think it's good that the movie let us fill the small gaps that we think are missing and personally I get more attached to the story this way.

    The complex story within a story setup asks a lot from the actors, screenwriters and director to get it all together in 97 minutes. Even the last scenes are open to interpretations. So like many great books it leaves you wondering.

    I don't think this is a film mainly about plagiarism. It is a moral story about having made choices that you are not proud of and living with them. It is about striving to be the best that you can be and accepting who you are even if you fall short. The plagiarism is just a tool for the story to unfold.

    Spoilers coming up! I think an underlying point in the film is that its not enough to be a good writer, you also need to have a name or a brand that sells books. The book market is a tough market to break trough in and is dominated by big publishers and well known writers. By publishing Window Tears Clay made a name of himself and that name helped him to get his own books published. To the outside world he was a success, but to himself he was a failure because it was another mans words that made his name. Meaning his own books may have sold because of the name on the front page, and not because of the words written inside.

    The old man said he was afraid of ever going as deep as when he wrote Window Tears and that his mistake was that he cared more for his words than anything else. By writing the book called The Words Clay proved to himself that he was a brilliant writer. But by doing so he let his wife know the truth about what he did a long time ago and in a way he suffered the same faith as the old man.

    This I think explains the ending in the film when Clay clapped his hands and sighted with relief as if Daniella was exactly right when she said his marriage was finished if his wife ever found out the truth. This also explains why the timing of their separation coincided with the release of his latest book. One of the things that bothered me was the ending scenes. Why did Clay and his wife get separated at this time of his life? He still wears his wedding ring, he has a picture of here in his newest book, and couldn't go through with it with Daniella. All this tells me that Clay still very much loves his wife.

    I don't think Clay ever revealed to his publisher or his wife that he didn't write his first success that was Window Tears. He probably thought long and hard on telling the truth and the outside pressure became to strong when presented with the opportunity to achieve his life dream. Clay never really wanted to reach success this way and when he understood the consequences of his actions it was already too late because some things you cannot change.

    On the surface this seems like a simple plot about plagiarism but for the one that invests in the story and wants to go deeper into the material and engage, it really is a wonderful story and a well executed film about passion, morals and life. Thats why this film gets my highest recommendation.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Although I give this move 8/10, it still falls short at the end. One of my favorite movies of all time is "The Man from Earth (2007)" and I am so reminded of that film when watching this one.

    There is a story, within the story, within the story. But what they miss, in my view, is to really plant that seed of doubt firmly in the mind of the audience. As the credits starts rolling up the screen, you feel that the movie ended way to soon. That you got cut off mid sentence.

    All the intricate parts are there, the storytelling is really breathtaking but they still fall short. If they just put a little bit more effort into the "real" story, it would have made such a difference.

    Hey, but still... A really good movie that I enjoyed so much, but noting more. Worth every buck-
  • Absent of cheesy one liners, cgi explosions and presumably never ending car chases it was not surprising to see the lack of respect this movie has received. It is telling of our culture to pass by a story, full of such raw, human, emotion, with dis-contempt and frailty.

    'The Words' is a movie about life, mistakes and the pain we can all feel inside, and it is this ability to relate that makes it so powerful. It gives me hope, along with a select other few, that cinematic story telling has not simply been reduced to the next ex-cia to shoot up the town, or romantic comedy with the same stale happily ever after ending.

    It is real, and comes with the all of the uncertainty and heartbreak of life.
  • It's difficult to really determine what this films true intention was at first, but then you realize that this movie is more honest and open then you hope for. It's deep to say the least, it really pulls you in and makes you feel for the characters involved, especially Jeremy Irons Character (past and present). The true price of falsely claiming a work of art is yours isn't the guilt that you didn't write it, its the realization that you could never create it on your own. This movie is inspiring as it is overwhelming, not to be taken into high regard but it was very much worth paying attention to. If you write, if you draw, if you create anything that makes you proud that you did it, share it, if not you will regret it for the rest of your life, that was the true message of this film.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    "The Words" is a movie about a writer writing about a writer who has stolen another writer's work about his life as a writer. It sounds cerebral on paper, but it's not, in practice. It's easy enough to follow, but the narratives are nesting dolls of decreasing value.

    The Irons-narrated Paris scenes are by far the most engrossing; the story is about as deep as a supermarket page-turner, but it's easy to believe such a sepia-toned romance would make for a best-seller.

    When The Princess Bride, for instance, used the device of the storyteller as narrator, it managed to interrupt and return to its stories playfully and charmingly. This film's layered storytelling lacks the fluidity, grace, or good humour, to pull off its conceit.

    It's always dangerous ground to create a fictional work that centers on fictional artists who are revered geniuses of their craft. If you're going to make up a musician, a painter, a writer, then you have to be prepared to show their music, their paintings, their words. When it comes to Jansen's stolen best-seller, the film wisely only shows us obscure flashes of ink-stained manuscript, relying instead on Jeremy Irons' velvet-voiced narration to sell the image in a way that Hammond's stilted prose utterly fails to do.

    Though flawed, the film is a promising debut from first-time directors Brian Klugman and Lee Sternthal. Love went into the production -- there's care in the framing and cinematography, the scoring, the recurring visual motifs. A little romance takes the movie a long way.

    But its romance can also rankle. Take, for instance, its representation of the struggling writer. There are no sleepless nights in drafty garrets, no dinners of ramen noodles, no piles of unpaid bills. Instead, there are handsomely outfitted New York lofts, tailored blazers and Paris honeymoons, all funded on an office mail clerk's salary, apparently.

    In the end, the film's Achilles' heel is an unfortunate one for a serious-minded literary drama about writers - its screenplay.
  • I am not sure what Hollywood considers a good movie but I know this is an excellent film. The story is told with such elegance and fluidity that it is a joy to watch. I am buying this movie for my personal collection to make sure that I watch a film, from time to time, that reminds me of art in its highest form. The actors are brilliant, the direction is genius, photography is captivating and the scriptwriting is unparalleled. I completely loved this movie.

    Though it was not a blockbuster hit bringing in hundreds of millions, it did earn back its original investment costs and nearly that figure again.

    Just when you think you know how it's going to go - the movie bends then twists into another path. Just brilliant!!!
  • The Words is a story within a story within a story. I absolutely loved the story within the story. A masterful telling of an intriguing situation with wonderful acting and believable emotions that, at both levels, tugged at my heart strings. However, the third level added very little, or should I say distracted from the rest. It was meant to put a twist on the story within the story, to make the viewer think and wonder, but it was mostly a distraction, and the acting was far inferior to the other two levels. The producers should have seen this but instead, they took something great and made it good. Another reviewer said somewhere that negative reviews were from people who "didn't get it". That's pretty conceited by them to think that they were the only ones who got it. Trust me, I got it, I just didn't like it. All that being said, it was still worth watching, if only for the two inner layers.
  • While subdued and a little slow-moving, THE WORDS is a good--and not too heavy-handed--modern morality tale of how one serious act of dishonesty irreversibly affects a writer's entire life and career. The fact that his act would be difficult to ever prove or prosecute only makes things worse in many ways for Rory Jansen. The various additional elements of suspense and romance help to create a unique combination.

    Interesting plot-structure: No huge twists or surprises, but everything fits together with slow, subtle tension. The acting ranges from tepid to quite good. Various details are also important; it might be a good idea, for example, to freeze-frame and read the rejection letters that Rory Jansen receives toward the beginning. A lot of people apparently don't like the way THE WORDS ends, but I sure do. Along with "the old man"'s embedded tale, the conversations between best-selling author Clay Hammond and fan/aspiring author Daniella are easily the most engaging aspects of this film.

    Anyone with interests in fiction writing, the publishing industry, and/or related subjects will probably find THE WORDS a compelling enough film; those without such interests, however, may find it pretty dull. Even for the latter folks, I would also recommend SHATTERED GLASS (2004), starring Hayden Christensen, which has a similar conflict, a faster pace, and generally better acting.
  • This powerful and emotional film appears to be inspired by the terrible true story of what happened to Ernest Hemingway in 1922, and which contributed to the breakup of his first marriage and, some might say, the wreckage of his later life and his eventual suicide. I feel the tragedy of Hemingway's suicide particularly acutely because I received one of the last letters he ever sent. I wrote to him as a teenager when he was in the Mayo Clinic (because I was able to find its address and this had been announced in the newspapers), and he wrote back to me. The letter was dictated to a nurse, who wrote the text by hand, but Hemingway added his unmistakable, bold and florid signature at the bottom. His letter was extremely courteous and generous, but it contained the haunting phrase: 'When I leave here tomorrow …' His treatment for depression had been unsuccessful, and it was not long before he ended his personal torment with his hunting rifle. What can have caused this? His father had killed himself, and at least one other family member had done so also. But the roots of everything seem to me to go back to 1922. He and his first wife Hadley were living happily, if in extreme poverty (eating pigeons which he caught in the park), in Paris, and 'Hem' had published very little. He had finished his first novel and several stories. They had a chance to have a break at Lausanne in Switzerland, and Hadley was to join Hem there. Without telling him, she gathered up all of his unpublished material including his novel and put it in a small suitcase to take with her, thinking he might want to work on it in Switzerland. She cannot have been very bright, because she took (1) the original handwritten manuscripts, (2) the typed copies, and (3) the carbon copies of everything, leaving nothing behind. She then lost the suitcase on the train. This story is recounted in Hemingway's posthumous memoir A MOVEABLE FEAST, which he did not dare to publish in his lifetime, presumably because he did not wish to upset his son by Hadley. Hem thus lost his first novel and all his unpublished stories. The destruction of all of his work, and the shattering realization of how stupid his wife really was, sowed the seeds of the dissolution of all he held dear. Of course there were other factors, the strange sexual dynamics described in the posthumous novel THE GARDEN OF EDEN, and the man-eater Pauline Pfeiffer who made sure she became the second Mrs. Hemingway after being Hadley's 'best friend'. I often walk past the house where Hem and Pauline had their flat in the Rue Ferou in Paris (long before Man Ray lived in the same small street). But it was leaving the novel on the train that ruined everything, in my opinion, and it was not until 1926 that Hem managed to publish his ostensibly 'first' novel, THE SUN ALSO RISES, which caused such a sensation and made him famous. There is little doubt in my mind that this is what the producers and authors of THE WORDS have used as the inspiration of their own tale, which concerns the loss of the manuscript of a novel by a wife on a train from Paris, with all the terrible consequences which result, including the destruction of the marriage. Just in case we all need reminding, the film has several scenes where the first edition of THE SUN ALSO RISES (in impeccably accurate dust jacket) is reverently handled by the young American author of the lost novel, and he and his young wife also live in Paris in great poverty. The other married couple central to the story, living in the present, also visit one of Hemingway's Paris residences to pay tribute to him. (In fact it is not one of the real ones, as I am familiar with all those. The plaque to Hemingway in the film may also be made specially for the film. But the idea is sound.) For the first portion of this film, the theme appears to be literary plagiarism. It is only later that the true theme becomes dominant and apparent, namely the lost manuscript left by the wife on the train. This is because the action takes place in 'the past' (the author of the novel and his wife in Paris) and in 'the present', where another aspiring author finds the lost novel in a briefcase which his wife has bought for him in a brocante shop on a visit to Paris, and publishes it as his own work. Alas, the subject of 'alleged plagiarism' (I have to be careful of my words) is all too painful to me as well, since one of my closest friends is Michael Baigent, who unsuccessfully sued Dan Brown concerning THE DA VINCI CODE, though I tried to persuade him not to, and seeing the financial ruin this brought upon him has been intensely distressing. This film mingles both themes in an extremely dramatic and upsetting double-tale where tragedy lurks around every corner, and all suffer. All the performances, the direction and script by the pair Brian Klugman and Lee Sternthal, the cinematography and the mood are all exquisitely sensitive and thoughtful. Jeremy Irons is marvellously convincing as an old man, Dennis Quaid is gut-wrenching as a man haunted by his regrets, Brad Coooper, Olivia Wilde, Zoe Saldana, and the beautiful Nora Arnezeder are all superb as the main players in this film, which will be difficult for anyone who sees it ever to forget. The film is a modern classic, with a lingering aftertaste of melancholy, and important messages for all who value words. Ultimately, the tragedy expressed by the old man is that he cared more about the words than about the wife who lost them, and by doing so, he lost both.
  • buryzoli10 December 2012
    This film is a rare and brilliant combination of book and movie. You will see this movie like reading a book, just Your imagination will be rest, replaced with this lovely pictures and actors. Words and frames will flow smoothly together before Your eyes, like a big, calm river but with volume, deepness and strenght. The narrator (good choice for Dennis Quaid, especially for His voice) will read for You, Jeremy Irons ("the old man"-a wonderful play of course), Bradley Cooper (just slightly under the other two great actors), Dennis Quaid, Zoe Saldana (good enough), Olivia Wilde (bad choice), Ben Barnes (nice play) and the others, will told the story in a great acting. Highly recommended for film and book lovers too. Beside the good story and acting, what I like most in "The words" is the words.
  • This is such an under-rated movie and it is so sad that it will not be seen by more people.

    Bradley Cooper has a great career ahead as a producer, he was very smart to make this project. The four generations of great actors were so well- chosen, each one the sexiest man alive I'm sure at one time or another. For me it was Dennis Quaid, and I saw more of the old Dennis Quaid in this movie than in a very long time. Bradley Cooper is the third generation actor in this piece and he really shows his acting chops. He's not just a pretty face! The pretty face is now Ben Barnes and what a great face it is. He is perfect as the young 'old man' in Paris after the war.

    I almost never like stories within a story, now do I like stories about authors or actors, they always seem so navel-gazing, but this movie trumps all of those problems in such an amazing excellent way.

    Watch this movie, you won't be sorry.
  • If you never see a movie unless EVERYONE else LOVES it... then skip "The Words". However, if you are able to enjoy a movie in spite of silly reviewers questioning the ending, the plot twists, or perhaps and don't require countless Dukes of Hazard-style car chase scenes and seeing the nude bodies of the leading ladies... then go see "The Words" and enjoy it! My wife a I went with another couple last night, and we all generally liked it or loved it! We planned on dinner afterward and this gave us time to discuss it... and that was helpful because we all had taken away different interesting bits. The actors are good to terrific. Jeremy Irons is exceptional! BUT...WHAT did it all mean? WHO CARES!!! It meant, quite simply, they made a great movie that requires one to have a mind to enjoy it. ;) Enjoy "The Words" for what it is... something different, finally!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Spring and Fall are becoming my favorite movie seasons of the year. And the rating should be a 9.5 The box office may be small but the quality is up.

    OK, I want all y'all that are allatime complaining that they don't make good movies in Hollywood anymore, to go see this. Disregard the press and even the other audience reviews. Why? Because this is a straight drama with no violence, action, gratuitous sex or even much romance even though it's being promoted as romantic. What is has is some magnificent dialogue, acting and a compelling, fascinating story that's as worn yet mysterious as the old satchel he finds the manuscript in. Unfortunately, those aren't things that sell movies by themselves, because so many people feel cheated if there isn't violence, action or gratuitous sex--even occasionally.

    Anyway, the actors are all on time of their game IMNTBHO, especially Dennis Quaid who the directors must have worked real hard on to get him to stop using the 4 or 5 mannerisms he'd come to rely on for the last 10 or so years. Olivia Wilde has never been more attractive (offputtingly smiling at first but for a reason) and she delivers the best line in the movie perfectly. I don't think anyone would expect Jeremy Irons to turn in anything but perfection in that deep voice of his, which he does. And I'm moving Bradley Cooper a couple more notches up the respect ladder into pretty rarefied territory. The ending felt a little flat until I gave it some thought.

    **SPOILER Cooper's/Quaid's character decides to write another novel which he presents as an extension of the first fiction (lie), which is actually the truth. He thinks, and it may well be, that it's his only out. What do you think? How many people would even give a second thought to the morality of the situation in his position. END SPOILER**

    It isn't expected to do well at the box office, but that'll give you plenty of elbow room in the theater. And hey, The Expendables 2 is still playing.

    Hmmmm, after all the disclaimers, probably the only people that see it are the ones who were going to go see it anyway. But hey, we know who we are, right. .............RIGHT.........Right........right.
  • The Words is an engaging film, and almost feels more like a book on screen. And like a good book, it quickly reins you in and keeps entertaining until the end. The writer/director team of Brian Klugman & Lee Sternthal is miles away from their script for the forgettable Tron: Legacy. With The Words they take their time by using their catchy story within a story technique to develop their intriguing characters. The Words may not have the heft compared to other favorites for Best Original Screenplay come this Oscar season, but it is respectable feat for the writer/director duo. Bradley Cooper (The Hangover, Limitless) delivers a nice subtle performance as a struggling writer drowning in a sea of desperation. Cooper continues to hack out diverse performances that continue to show his range and win over more fans. He's proving that he is not just Hollywood's latest flavor of the week. The rest of the cast is strong, and headlined by Jeremy Irons (The Man in the Iron Mask, Being Julia) as a broken down old man surprised to see his long lost book on the best-seller list with some young punk's name attached. The Words was dumped into theaters on what is historically known as the worst weekend for movie attendance, and most likely won't garner much of an audience. The film will also have trouble living up to the competition come Oscar season, but it delivers an entertaining and appealing film on the first weekend of fall award season releases.
  • This film is about a young struggling writer who makes it big with a manuscript that he did not write.

    "The Words" tells the tale of a struggling writer who has to face moral choices after stealing a manuscript. Bradley Cooper carries the role well, and he portrays the internal struggle very well. It is a welcomed change that Bradley Cooper portrays a serious and emotionally tormented role. The scene of his attempt to rectify things in the greenhouse is haunting. Zoe Saldana shines as well as the supportive wife, her plethora of emotions is so natural and convincing. They make a good on screen couple. The Bradley Cooper subplot is quite predictable, but the connection between Bradley Cooper and Dennis Quaid is not immediately apparent. This extra layer gives "The Words" more depth. I think "The Words" has many fine performances, and deserves to be seen.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    For me, Jeremy Irons is the star here in one of his best roles, as the old man who shines the moral light on the central character Rory Jensen. The camera loves Irons, and the director lets him take his sweet time to tell his amazing story. I think Bradley Cooper, while he is handsome, is wrong for the Jensen role. He was good in the early scenes but seemed too healthy and happy when he was supposed to be absolutely crushed later on. I liked that his character wasn't a total loser, i.e. he was a loving husband and he tried to make amends for his sins, albeit after he was caught out. The women actors in the film, except for the young French actress, were talented but largely wasted and seemed to be more there as eye candy. I liked that the film had a very ambitious, intelligent script. It didn't always hit the mark, but it did make you think, which these days is quite rare in Hollywood.
  • swain-519161 February 2019
    It's difficult to believe that somebody somewhere at some point didn't pull the plug on this movie before it got made. How did it get produced? Did anyone read the script? And how, for the love of god, did Jeremy Irons get roped into this moronic melodrama?
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I dare not tell the story as to spoil it. I too was in a packed theater but with 800 people in attendance. The story was well executed. Although some reviews were not good, I went and saw this movie anyways. This movie sold out as soon as it hit the Sundance Film Festival list. I was fortunate to secure a seating. All the Actors were fantastic! Olivia Wilde didn't get much of a part. I would of liked to see her character more developed. Bradley Cooper has been criticized for taking this part and they have said it was a poor choice on Bradleys part. I highly disagree. Movies are not meant to be highly MINDLESS! This movie takes an open heart to watch and love! It was easy to like the characters. Especially the UP AND COMING Ben Barnes! How do you play a character That well? without many words? I have followed this Brit's career and It will SOON explode on our American soil! I was very moved by Bens actions and reactions in the film. Ben's movements and actions as he fell in love and lost, and his reaction to another loss was phenomenal! He was VERY believable! Many were physically and emotionally moved by Ben Barnes's performance! For those who were fortunate to see Ben Barnes Performance in Sebastion Faulks Birdsong would agree that this guy will go far. And good luck to him as well as all who had small and large parts of this movie

    This movie has a "Princess Bride-ish" type format. In that the story reader goes back and forth. This movie made you think! It made you feel! And will make you feel for days to come!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Usually when over 100 people have already reviewed a film, I pass on also reviewing it. Occasionally I make an exception, and this is one.

    It isn't often that Jeremy Irons disappoints, and he certainly doesn't here, but he is merely one of several characters that bring this story to life.

    The story is simple -- an aspiring author with little to show for his work stumbles upon an old manuscript and submits it to a publishing house as his own. They publish it, it's a best seller...and then he meets the old man who actually wrote the story.

    Bradley Cooper is the nominal lead character here, and he certainly does a nice job as the story thief. Zoe Saldana plays his wife in a forgettable performance that any actress could have turned in if she was in the right age range. Jeremy Irons is the old man who originally wrote the story, and he turns in his usual great performance. Then up and coming actor Ben Barnes plays the young Jeremy Irons. Barnes is one of the better young actors out there, and he demonstrates that here. Dennis Quaid plays an author who writes the overall story. Smaller parts are held by J. K. Simmons and John Hannah.

    I don't give an "8" to even 1 out of 50 movies, but I'll do so here. Highly recommended if you like seriously dramatic movies.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    The Words is a movie about a man who writes a book and I believe that the movie is a puzzle, like a Rubik's cube. This is important to me because I am a writer and this movie offered some wonderful insight into writing fiction that is based on facts. I am writing a book that is fiction which is based on things that actually happened to me and the wisdom of my experiences, I believe, will help people make better choices in the future. I have read no other reviews of this movie so my review is colored in the shade of my own thoughts and this makes me believe that my review is pure and/or original.

    Overall, The Words is a movie about a book that is about loss. The author portrayed by Dennis Quaid has lost the author Rory has lost and the old man has lost. There is a very telling line in the movie that reveals the secret of the movie for those who didn't get it: fiction and reality are very close but they never actually touch. For a writer like myself this was such a magical line and it dove me into an ocean of thought. How can I keep my reality and my fiction close but not allow them to touch?

    Anyway, the movie is profound. I even think that I have figured it all out. I was going to save my final analysis but I would guess that the first sentence in my second paragraph here tells it all. The old man, the young man and the successful author have all lost something very important to them. The character Daniella tries to convince Clay that he has to let go of the thing that he lost but it is so much a part of his identity that he can't let it go. The old man lost everything and was never quite able to recover anything. The movie tries to make you believe that what Rory has lost is his self-respect and identity as a professional but Rory's story is never fully concluded. I believe that Rory's story is resolved in Clay's "real" life.

    The book written by the old man is a metaphor for the deepest recesses of a person's soul laid bare for everyone to see, a book that is so personal and so honest that it is more valuable than his relationship with his wife. The book that was "written" by Rory is a metaphor for the ability of human beings to lie about who they really are so they can feel good about themselves but this falls short of satisfying Rory because it is a complete and total fiction and the lie is so painful that it could destroy everything and maybe it does destroy everything because they don't tell us what happens to Rory and Dora. The book written by Clay, a book which we never really get to finish, is an illustration of what happens when you put your career, your ambition, your needs, whatever ahead of the needs of your spouse which is a parallel to the story of Rory and Dora.

    I assume that the deterioration of the relationship between Clay and his wife is due to Clay putting his needs ahead of those of his wife because writers, in general, don't get paid to write books and financial struggles are a big problem in relationships when there is a lopsided contribution being made. This is also illustrated in the relationship between Rory and Dora.

    The old man is watching Rory and Dora because they have what he lost and if only he could reverse time and have what he lost back he could be happy but this is impossible because no one knows the future. If we knew the future we would make better decisions, we would safeguard those things that are of importance to us. We would treat the things that matter most like they really matter. Clay wants things to be the way they were but it's too late. In reality, Clay is the old man but he is also the successful young man because he has what he has toiled so long and hard to obtain but at the cost of his relationship with his wife, which is more meaningful than everything else which is illustrated by the old man's life.

    This movie is about loss. The loss of love, the loss of a person's identity and the loss of self-respect but it is all the same loss. It is hard to believe that one person is able to experience so much loss but it is so. This movie allows us to look at loss from different perspectives and realize that all loss is identical.

    Now I will read the reviews of others.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This movie gave me a headache, although I mostly enjoyed it at the time. On reflection, however, I didn't understand it all that much. How can that be?

    First, it's three stories in one with three flashbacks (a little hard to follow). Second, it's written in the modern genre of letting the audience fill in the blanks. Third, the characters aren't developed to the point that we know or care about them (maybe except for Rory's teary, blood-shot blue eyes).

    It begins with a mature man, Clay Hammond (Dennis Quaid), before a large audience reading from his latest book titled "The Words."

    Flashback to a young Rory Jansen (Bradley Cooper) receiving an award for writing his successful first novel "The Window Tears." Flashback to a couple of young lovers just out of college, Rory and Dora (Zoe Saldana) moving a mattress on to the floor of their loft where they can live happily after—Rory writing and Dora loving him—except it takes two years to finish his book. The book is good, but not publishable according to those who publish books, partly because he is a new, unknown author.

    Rory is forced to get a job with a publisher delivering interoffice mail. He and Dora get married and go on a honeymoon to Paris (just a little trite). While there they visit the former abode of Ernest Hemingway and explore a shop that sells artifacts from the period. Rory finds an old and worn (but interesting) leather briefcase and Dora buys it for him. Later at home, Rory still unable to write discovers an old manuscript hidden behind a flap in the briefcase. This is the catalyst for the rest of the movie.

    After the book is published, "an Old Man" (Jeremy Irons) sits next to Rory on a park bench and tells him his story. A flashback within a flashback to after WWII when a young American soldier falls in love with a French girl (Ben Barnes and Nora Arnezeder) in Paris and they eventually marry. Their story is compelling and tragic. Subsequent choices made by the couple individually are regrettable which is also true of the moral choice made by Rory.

    Clay Hammond (Quaid) is the puzzle of this movie although there are many clues to his identity. He adds little to the plot especially when a "young, spoiled, impetuous American" girl, Daniella, (Olivia Wilde) is thrown into the mix. Her purpose is one of the "blanks" that are not filled in. Her only importance appears to be when she asks Clay if he wants "fiction or (real) life." I suppose that is about Truth.

    If you want to be entertained on a long afternoon in a movie theater, expecting nothing and happy for something that is both interesting and thought provoking, this movie is for you. If not, stick to the classics.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Interesting concept for the plot, but mired in screenplay editing and, surprisingly, some weak acting.

    Not sure if I'm spoiling anything, but:

    The movie starts with the author at the reading of his book. The plot of his book is that another author steals the work of an unknown writer, becoming famous, and then meeting an older gentleman (the actual writer). Lots of rich soil to harvest many, many themes from, both moral and psychological.

    Sounds great, but...I'm not quite sure if it's the writing, the directing, the screenplay editing, the movie editing, or a combination of all of these, but this is not the best opus from a group of seriously good, if not great, actors. It seemed that the first forty minutes was just a warm-up, because the acting was far superior in the second half of the movie.

    Normally, Bradley Cooper is wonderful at playing the small stuff that makes a person humanly interesting. Not here. Dennis Quaid, at the reading of his own novel, is monotone; not very engaging when you're trying to sell a story (both his book & this movie). Even Jeremy Irons, an acting icon, doesn't deliver in the beginning. An example that may be a bit cliché, but it's about facial expression: you know when film characters reminisce, they look off into the distance as if they are peering deeply into the rich haze of their past? Here he seems like he's just looking at something across the way. But, like I said, much improved in the second half.

    Zoe Saldana is charming; strong, yet vulnerable. But the real kudos go to Ben Barnes (Jeremy Irons's character as a young man) and Nora Arnezeder. During these segments the movie shines. Beautifully acted as well as filmed. A story you can sink your teeth into: meaty; one that moves you. This is the story stolen by Cooper's character. But then when the movie cuts back to Quaid and his audience, or to Irons and Cooper, the story doesn't seem to have registered with them at all; at least not until much later.

    And the writing has something to do with it. When a movie plot hinges around characters that are writers, the screenplay better be damn good. This one hits with World War II-era Paris, but misses with modern New York. The lovely Olivia Wilde is an example. And her character is supposed to be lovely, and smart, and seductive. But here she comes off as a little creepy; a little stalker-ish.

    There is another difference between the flashbacks and the present. The flashback characters have less proselytising. Back in the present, when every little thing that your character is feeling, thinking, or learning, is spoken out loud, it almost seems unnecessary to show emotion and thought through facial expressions, body language, gestures, or looks.

    There are definitely exceptions, and this an excellent effort. But it takes a lot to balance the passion of directing your own writing with the distance needed to tell a story successfully. And it usually lies with the trimming of the fat. That's why authors need editors.

    Again, a potentially great concept, but with okay delivery.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Monday we went to the movies. I had promised my wife I would take her to see "Hope Springs (2012)", a fun looking looking rom-com with Tommy Lee Jones & Meryl Streep. Unfortunately every time we had a moment something was up and when we finally had the time that movie was no longer playing. So to punish me, and because she wanted to see a movie, we went to see "The Words"

    If you should be in this situation, for Gods sake fake an injury. This movie was horrid. Its so bad only a preening pseudo-intellectual could possibly find it entertaining... no, not even them. I am a card-carrying member of the 'Preening Pseudo-Intellectual International Union' (Local 'Snooty I'm So Damn Smart' 306).

    This is your River Song moment – from here on there are Spoilers.

    It's basically three storyline's in one movie. You have the story of the young WWII veteran and his life, love, and lose in post-war France; the young struggling writer angsting his way to obscurity; and the vainglorious older writer engaging in an uncomfortably age-inappropriate sexually charged conversation with a young woman.

    The story of the young veteran and his interactions as an old man with the young author is good. Jeremy Irons is an excellent actor (His portrayal of Pope Alexander VI in "The Borgia's" is Faboo! Not to mention he was the voice of Scar in the Lion King). While he is on the screen, or when the story of his youth and loss is up – its solid cinema.

    The story of the young author, portrayed by Bradley Cooper, is at best Meh! Hes a angsty writer who falls into plagiarism and then revels in the celebrity; and his wife is little better, pushing him and then getting mad at him when he comes clean about it to her. The best part of this is his agent, who rightfully tells him to shut the f#ck up and help the old man out financially (the right thing to do), but not to commit career suicide.

    The last, and certainly least, part features Dennis Quaid & Olivia Wilde – both of whom phoned in their performances, had no real chemistry between them, and made the thirty-year difference in their ages seem much larger. This was the preening, "I'm so deep" part of the movie that not only could have been left out without harming the movie but would have actually IMPROVED it had it been totally cut. And, just to be clear, it was not the fault of the actors involved – they were okay, if telepresenced in – the story and implications were... well preening pseudo-intellectualism at it pinnacle. Is he the the younger author now older, respected, rich, and separated from his wife of many years who can no longer bear to live with a fraud? Is the young girl trying to steal a story from him to become him? Are they going to have sex or just dance around each other? Is she a substitute for his estranged wife, and he for her daddy? Did he write the story or live it? Can I slit my wrist to escape, or will the EMT's revive me and make me finish before hauling my arse off to the loonies bin (and I have worked in mental health facility, so I actually know a bit about it).

    So there we have it, my first review to be posted at IMDb. Now imagine what I will say when I really hate a movie! I am kind of looking forward to that, kind of dreading it.

    Either way, what fun!
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