20 August 2019 | movieswithgreg
Ugh, that clunky dialogue!
This is a first-time director's outing, IIRC. As such, it's usually bound to be bare-bones budget and limited sets and resources. That means a lot of people talking, or, if euro, a lot of people looking. And then on top of it, this is about some obscure, mysterious poet and those who crave to know more about him.
Someone made a creative decision for the lead (probably the director-cowriter), ryhs-meyers, to speak as if he were speaking off the pages of henry james' novel dialogue, only more robotically. It was the worst decision in this project. It repeatedly distracts and pulls us out of the story because it offends the modern ear.
Otherwise, this is a series of sparse acting gems for fans of vanessa redgrave. Richardson and rhys meyers just support the script and redgrave.
On the plus side, if you're in the mood for a moody, quiet, costume-rich period piece set and shot in venice, where not a single car chase or gunshot is to be found, then this will do adequately. I gave it a six for that reason. You don't come away from this film any stupider than you started, and that gets me at least a five these days. If it's about literature and costume-set pieces, then that's one point in general.