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- Commentary by director Laurence Dunmore
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- 10 deleted scenes
Top Customer Reviews
THE LIBERTINE is a dark film that the studio wisely decided to release only after the Christmas holiday season. In it, Depp plays John Wilmot, the second Earl of Rochester (b. 1647 - d. 1680), whose life of debauchery was a public scandal even in a society that tolerated the loose morality of King Charles II and his court. Ironically, as the film makes a point of depicting, Charles (John Malkovich) reluctantly, but regularly, banished Rochester from the royal presence for the liberties the latter took in lampooning the former's free-wheeling lifestyle.
THE LIBERTINE is a depressing affair mainly because there's nobody in it to like. Moreover, neither Wilmot nor the viewers' sensitivities are spared the ravages of tertiary syphilis, the disease that ultimately kills the Earl; the film is a great argument for the advent of penicillin. Only Rosamund Pike as Rochester's long-suffering wife may gain audience sympathy. Elizabeth Barry (Samantha Morton), the struggling actress whose career Rochester takes upon himself to further, apparently for uncharacteristically altruistic reasons, matter-of-factly accepts his help but remained unengaging to this viewer. The gloom is enhanced by a cinematography accomplished in somber, washed-out tones, particularly brown and dark green, with lots of shadows and murky candle light. Even the daylight is muted, as if in winter.
Now having said why THE LIBERTINE isn't light and airy, I have to also say that it's a powerful display of Depp's superlative talent. If the film wasn't so bleak, I'd expect a stampede to nominate Johnny for an Oscar.Read more ›
"The Libertine", directed by Laurence Dunmore and written by Stephen Jeffreys, based on his own play, is a very good film, for the most part.
The film opens with Depp in darkness and shadow, holding a wine glass, moving towards the candlelight and into our view. Wilmot informs us "You will not like me". As he continues, he announces "Ladies, I am up for it all the time." This scene is already one of the most memorable in recent film. Because it is Johnny Depp, many women (and for that matter, some men) will swoon as soon as he appears onscreen, but as he begins to warn us, he further cements our memory of this character. His frank and open manner is very memorable.
Sure enough, as the film progresses, we don't like Wilmot. It is a testament to Depp's skill as an actor that we don't really care. Depp's portrayal is interesting and challenging, both of which more than make up for the lack of a likable hero in the story. Wilmot enjoys all of the pleasures of living in society and enjoys them well.Read more ›
This movie casts it's spell and is difficult to leave behind. Against the Earl's best advice, I cannot help but like him.
Do not let the critics influence you about this film. See it for yourself and decide. Your time will not be wasted.
The film has a very distinctive look to it: partly to emphasize the aura of menace and decay, but also as a cost-cutting measure, all of the outdoor scenes are obscured by thick dark smog and all of the indoor scenes are candlelit. Johnny Depp does terrific things as Rochester, although the screenplay requires him to be constantly foul-tempered and temperamentally anhedonic.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I have been a long time fan of Johnny Depp's work. He has the most rare ability to truly bring his characters alive and to bring his audience so deep into the lives of the... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
Johnny Depp is the heart of this movie. Astounding acting. Compelling look into the human psyche.Published 1 month ago by Diane S Smalley
Johnny Depp is the most versatile actor I have seen. He can really bring you into the person he is playing and make you either love him or hate him . Read morePublished 5 months ago by Nancy Sawyer
I love Johnny Depp. Excellent Actor. This movie is another of his best. Recommend for all who love period pieces.Published 5 months ago by Deena
Brutally sexual true story about a brilliant mind bent on self destruction. Kind of a literary Fight Club with more sexual references than Freud could shake a stick at.Published 5 months ago by R L C