Regrets of a Profane, Hedonistic Life
Release Date: April 02, 2014
Runtime: 93 minutes
Distributor: Fox Searchlight Pictures/News Corp.
Director: Richard Shepard
Executive Producer: None
Producer: Jeremy Thomas
Writer: Richard Shepard
Address Comments To:Rupert Murdoch, Chairman/CEO, and Chase Carey, President/COO, News Corp.
Stephen Gilula, President/COO and Nancy Utley, President/COO, Fox Searchlight Pictures
20th Century Fox Film Corp. (a division of Fox, Inc. and News Corp.)
10201 West Pico Blvd., Bldg. 38; Los Angeles, CA 90035
Phone: (310) 369-1000; Fax: (310) 369-2359
The movie opens with one of the most obscene starts to a movie ever made, as a fellow convict services Dom Hemingway in prison. Cut to Dom getting out of prison, where he’s picked up by his friend, Dickie. An expert safecracker, Dom has spent 12 years in prison to protect his boss, a French gangster. Now, Dom and Dickie are looking forward to collecting from their boss, Mr. Fontaine, the money he owes them for Dom keeping his mouth shut.
Dom, however, is an angry, hedonistic, conceited fellow. Making matters worse, his wife died during the time Dom was in prison and, as a result, Dom never got to see their daughter grow up. So, it makes him mad having to kiss up to Fontaine just to get what Fontaine owes him. Dom’s anger gets the best of him during the meeting with Fontaine at Fontaine’s fancy villa in France. So, Dom has to smooth things over by obsequiously apologizing. Consequently, Fontaine gives Dom several hundred thousand English pounds for his silence.
All that money leads to a hedonistic party that gets out of hand, and Dom, Dickie, Fontaine, and three girls get into a terrible drunken car crash that kills Fontaine. Dom saves the life of one of the girls, but while he’s doing that, Fontaine’s girlfriend manages to return to the villa and steal all of Dom’s money.
After his experience, Dom tries to reconnect with his estranged daughter, but she doesn’t want anything to do with him. A singer, she also definitely doesn’t want him to be around the young son she has had with her husband.
With Fontane’s girlfriend on the lam and with no money and no prospects, Dom decides he has to go back to cracking safes for a living. However, even if he can get a safecracking job, that will just put reconciliation with his daughter even further away from him.
DOM HEMINGWAY has a crude, comical tone throughout this story. Jude Law gives what can only be described as an enthusiastic performance as the title character. In some ways, his performance reminds one of Leonardo DiCaprio’s performance in THE WOLF OF WALL STREET. One can admire the enthusiasm with which such over-the-top performances are accomplished, but are they really and truly great performances? This reviewer would say no, and, as better examples, point to the sublime nuances of great actors like Marlon Brando, Jimmy Stewart, Barbara Stanwyck, Cary Grant, Jena Arthur, or John Wayne who can move audiences with a slight and simple but meaningful look in their eyes, tone in their voice, or body movement that says volumes. For proof, we point to the taxi scene in Elia Kazan’s masterpiece ON THE WATERFRONT with Brando and Rod Steiger (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eeVq1e6JKlw) or these two brief scenes with John Wayne and company from John Ford’s masterpiece THE SEARCHERS (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=98Xtn4JG2bQ).
That said, Jude Law and the rest of the cast in DOM HEMINGWAY do give good performances that hold the viewer’s attention and evoke laughter, disgust, sympathy, etc. The ending is particularly moving as Dom and his daughter finally start to reconcile with one another. It includes a couple brief touching scenes between Dom and his cute little grandson. To get there, however, the viewer has to sit through some pretty crude, obscene content. Ultimately, therefore, while DOM HEMINGWAY does move toward an uplifting redemptive conclusion, including a scene of forgiveness, it has too many and too obscene lewd moments. God would not want you to give this movie your support with your or your family’s money.
DOM HEMINGWAY has a crude, comical tone throughout this story. Jude Law gives an enthusiastic, but over-the-top, performance as the title character. Also, the redemptive ending is particularly moving as Dom and his daughter finally start to reconcile with one another. To get there, however, the viewer has to sit through some pretty crude, obscene content. Ultimately, therefore, DOM HEMINGWAY isn’t an appropriate movie for media-wise moviegoers.