Genius, the big Hollywood movie about famous author and Asheville native son Thomas Wolfe and his editor Max Perkins is set for a February 2016 premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival. The release date for wide distribution is unclear.
Genius, a star-studded biopic about fabled editor Max Perkins, who published some of America’s most famous writers, is among the five movies in the first slate of contenders announced last Friday for the Berlin International Film Festival next year.
Starring Colin Firth, Jude Law and Nicole Kidman, the film about the editor who launched the careers of Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Thomas Wolfe will have its world premiere at the Berlinale, Europe’s first major cinema showcase of the year that runs from Feb 11 to 21.
Actor Michael Grandage (“The Madness of King George”) makes his first foray behind the camera for “Genius,” world premiering in competition at next year’s Berlinale. Written by the prolific John Logan (“Hugo,” “Skyfall,” Spectre,” and Golden Globe nominee “Penny Dreadful”), the film stars Colin Firth as famed literary editor Max Perkins, who wrangled American icons Ernest Hemingway (Dominic West), Thomas Wolfe (Law), and F. Scott Fitzgerald (Guy Pearce) during a decades long tenure at Charles Scribner’s Sons.
Also debuting in Berlin will be Genius, the Michael Grandage-directed study of author Thomas Wolfe’s relationship with his editor, starring Jude Law and Colin Firth and based on A Scott Berg’s 1978 biography Max Perkins: Editor of Genius.
This movie has some remarkable shortcomings. It appears to be non-fiction since it uses the names of the real persons featured. Anyone who knows the specifics of Thomas Wolfe’s biography (and there is a very good one) finds that Wolfe was 6’3′ tall and his mistress, Aline Bernstein was 13 inches shorter, thus less than 5′ tall. She was about 18 years senior to Wolfe at 25. Jude Law is 6′ tall and is a reasonable choice, although his Britishism is hardly Southern American. But casting Nicole Kidman as Aline Bernstein is absurd. Kidman is 5’11” tall, Australian, a slender, decidedly non-sensual white woman. Aline Bernstein was sensual in appearance…almost an opposite of Kidman. Reasonable casting would have chosen someone like Jennifer Jason Leigh. a truly talented actress, 5’3″ tall, with an appearance and persona much more akin to Aline Bernstein.