4 May 2014 | donboyd2004
A rare treat
An absolutely superb film dealing with a subject which reeks with creative pitfalls. Tom Hollander's bravura uncompromising performance was matched by a supporting cast - Phoebe Fox and Ewen Bremner were fabulous in particular - that allowed the director (Aisling Walsh) to paint a picture of this great poet's desperately sad life without whimsy, and without clichés. Beautifully photographed and realised, this was the best biopic I have seen for a long time.The script written by Andrew Davies used the poetry to great effect and balanced Thomas's brilliant language with some effective and poignant dialogue - no mean feat. The integration of period footage of New York in 1952 was seamless - presumably colorised Black and White, but the cinematography, costume design and art direction added a modern atmosphere to the film instead of the often used lazy cod stylised attempts at period visual approximation which make the imagery seem so unrealistic and unbelievable. For reasons that seem baffling, it wasn't given much promotion by the BBC. No doubt the schedulers were too busy pushing the other ridiculous rubbish TV executives pepper their schedules with these days. This was great television drama. On a philosophical note: I know about that desperation and pressures Walsh/Davies so cleverly delineated, and I know how seductive New York can be from its seedy dives, its cocktails, its somewhat superficial parties, and its artistic magnetism. Tragic that all these attractions have the power to destroy so much talent, and in Dylan Thomas's case, at such a tragically young age.