Customer Reviews: Arthur Newman (Blu-ray / DVD Combo Pack)
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Imagine my surprise when out of the blue and without any pre-release buzz or ads this movie showed on a single screen for all of Greater Cincinnati this weekend. I figured that this will not stick around very long and hence I went to see it right away.

"Arthur Newman" (2013 release; 100 min.) brings the story of a man (played by Colin Firth) who is in the dumps: he just got fired from his job, his ex-wife does not care for him, and his 13 yr. old son hates the mere sight of him. As the movie opens, we see Colin Firth acquiring a new identity, actually someone who passed away a few years ago named Arthur Newman. He then fakes his own death and takes off, as a "new man". Arthur plans on driving from Florida to Terre Haute, IN, where a job as a golf instructor awaits. But on his first night on the road, he makes the acquaintance of a young woman (played by Emily Blunt), who herself is running away from her own troubles, and using her twin sister's identity ("Mike") along the way. Mike decides to join Arthur on the trip to Indiana. To tell you much more of the plot would ruin your viewing experience, you'll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out.

Several comments: first, this is a road movie for the most part, as we follow the two main characters from motel to hotel, and from town to town, on their way to Indiana. Second, the main characters are engulfed in melancholy as on the one hand they are running away from something, yet at the same time are pining for love and someone who understands their problems. Both performances from Colin Firth and Emily Blunt are ace from start to finish. Blunt has been on an incredible run recently (just last year alone I saw her in Your Sister's Sister, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, Looper and the Five Year Engagement, and she shone in just about all of them), and she continues that hot streak in this movie.

This movie gathered positive buzz last Fall when it premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival, and I had been waiting eagerly to see it. The screening I saw this at here in Cincinnati was not particularly well attended, and so I doubt this will stick around long in the theaters. That said, I enjoyed this movie quite a bit, and if you are in the mood for something where things don't blow up every 5 minutes, I would readily recommend "Arthur Newman".
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon April 25, 2013
Be careful what you wish for! Sometimes the dream is far better than the reality, but it is the dream that drives our eponymous hero to plan and execute some drastic action. This R-rated dramedy is more drama than comedy; furthermore, if you have any trouble hearing dialogue, you might want to consider closed captions, either in a theater, or wait for the DVD. You don't want to miss the finer points in this plot.

We watch:
* Colin Firth ("A Single Man" and "The King's Speech") speaking American (!), is Arthur Newman, a frustrated wanna-be golf pro who, after a down-hill slide, has decided to reinvent himself. "New man," get it? He cleverly fakes his own death and hits the road.
* Emily Blunt ("Your Sister's Sister") also speaking American, is Mike, a young woman with nothing to lose. She encounters our hero on the road and they proceed to go adventuring...
* Anne Heche ("Cedar Rapids") is Mena, the girl he left behind. She knows he's boring, but she loves him anyway.
* Lucas Hedges ("Moonrise Kingdom") is Grant, our hero's son. It turns out that he is the most compelling reason for Arthur Newman to re-think his decision.

As our couple journeys on, they break into people's houses and take on the personalities (and clothes!) of the occupants. They are far more comfortable being someone else than being themselves. The tagline is: "If you don't have a life, get someone else's." They find this great...until it isn't.

This is no light-hearted romp, but we are in the hands of pros. Both Firth and Blunt are wonderful actors, so there is no quibble about the quality of their work. I would like... Maybe... Oh, I don't know WHAT I would like... Maybe the DVD from Amazon will help me decide.
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on August 27, 2013
"So you just ditched Wallace Avery for a total strangers half baked promise?" Wallace Avery (Firth) is a divorced man who hates his job and his life. Wanting to start fresh he decides to stage his own death and head to Indiana to become a golf teacher. Changing his name to Arthur Newman he is on his way when he meets a woman named Mike (Blunt). Both on the run from their own lives the begin to assume other people's identities but memories of their old lives begin to creep back up. This movie first and foremost has great acting and is very interesting and worth watching. On the other hand though it is a little slow in parts and seems repetitive. This is a movie of fiction but has the feel of a true story. I do recommend this movie but it isn't really a movie you can watch over and over because it is pretty depressing. It's hard to talk about this movie with out giving anything away and it really is a pretty good movie but don't expect a happy movie. Overall, a good movie with great acting that is worth watching but be prepared. I give it a B.
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on September 22, 2013
When I saw the preview of this film I decided there and then I had to see it. Although a little downbeat in the beginning as it goes along it becomes a great film with a roller coaster of emotions. Both leads Colin Firth and Emily Blunt are British and they transform themselves into being Americans. The casting is inspired and although I do not think this film will get the viewing it deserves it is in my library and I will watch it again. It is a a gem of a film and am sure that when you have seen it you will enjoy. So go on get it and take the trip.
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on January 16, 2014
In this film, Colin Firth plays a man who flees his life in Florida and takes on a new identity, that of Arthur Newman. On his way to Indiana, "Arthur" meets another person living under an assumed name, "Michaela" Fitzgerald (Emily Blunt), and the two become involved. The premise behind the film was interesting and I wanted to like "Arthur Newman," but was disappointed.

I gave it a chance because Firth and Blunt are A-listers who have been great in everything they've been in--both of them did a creditable job considering the script, which I thought was just slow-moving with an underdeveloped plot. Even the key scenes, exchanges, and attempts at humor fell flat, and it just seemed as though this was only about 60 or 70 percent of a movie. This wasn't the worst film I've ever seen, but is certainly forgettable. Rated R for adult content.
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on December 13, 2013
I bought this because I'm a long time Colin Firth fan and this film wasn't going to be released in US theaters. Deservedly. Firth seems to alternate between gems and clunkers. This is one of the latter. Rewatch Apartment Zero, A Month in the Country, Pride and Prejudice, Trauma, Tumbledown, Shakespeare in Love or even Bridget Jones or Love Actually and skip this one.
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on November 17, 2015
Mr. Firth is a fine actor and I have seen him perform in number of films which were exceptionally well done. This one was not. It was an utter disappointment. He was hard to believe in this film. His co-star was a bit easier to believe because she was just crazy, but Firth was a more complicated character that did not come across. The whole point got lost in the mire.
Don't bother.
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TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon September 3, 2013
'Arthur Newman' is an interesting film that raises many questions. Colin Firth plays Avery Walace who leads a boring life and wants something different. Not much in his life has lived up,to his expectations. He wanted to be a golf pro and could never quite make the cut. He is now a floor manager for FedEx. His ex-wife says he spen more time with the caddy than with his family. His son says he was never there for him. Avery's present girlfriend finds him boring but lovable. He takes a chance, goes tote beach, fakes his death, buys a new/old Metcedes convertible and hits the road. He has a new persona, license and all. Where did he get the money? A bag fully money with no answers.

On the road he runs into a young woman, who has overdosed on cough syrup, played by Emily Blunt. She is also running away and has taken on her schizophrenic sister's personna. Of course, thy hook up,travel otters Hate, where the new Arthur Newman has a job as a golf pro waiting.

You can't run away oes the old saying. Through their fun and games on he road, they both begin to realize this. Boring life, scary life, at sometime you have to face the facts. This film was a quiet little masterpiece that had such great potential. Somewhere along the way, something went wrong. Two marvelous British actors playing two southern characters seems a stretch, but it works. It is the film itself that has no where to go. And, where did Avery get all that money?

Recommended. prisrob 09-03-13
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on March 29, 2015
This is a very interesting and sweet film. *Spoilers* Two frustrated people are running away from their lives to escape their responsibilities, because they just cannot face it, take it. One - due to strong fears about her own fate, another - due to doubts about his chosen way of life, and because he feels unloved and has been endlessly rejected by his son (for good reason, too). During the journey they take, physically, they are also on the journey to emotional recovery, they help each other, and fall in love with each other. Romantic, moving, funny at times. A lot of sex.

My only problem with this DVD (therefore 4 stars out of 5) is the lack of subtitles. They speak almost in whisper at times, and you just cannot understand what they are saying. Plus, I'm not a native English speaker. What's the problem to add subtitles?
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on June 30, 2015
I bought this movie solely because Colin Firth acted in it. This movie is about two people whose lives are off track and they meet and join forces riding around the country seeking cheap thrills. The lead actresses character starts off as a young person whose life is a mess and Colin helps her. She matures at times but then slides back leaving us wondering where she is headed which is no where. He is old enough to be her father so it just didn't work for me despite the fact that Colin is such a great actor.
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