The film is rated PG-13 for brief strong language and smoking.
“The Words” is a visually wonderful film that unfortunately falls flat in its story telling as it tries to be inspiring.
The film opens with popular author Clay Hammond (Dennis Quaid) at an excerpt reading of his latest book of the same title. It’s on the excerpts that the film’s main plot centers.
Rory Jansen (Bradley Cooper) is a young author struggling to get published when he stumbles upon a long-lost manuscript. He passes off the story as his own, receiving critical acclaim; and is all but fine with his decision until he is confronted by The Old Man (Jeremy Irons).
Cooper’s Jansen gets a bit of false hope before finding the manuscript. He meets with a publisher, only to be told his book is not publishable from an unknown writer; because, it is a piece of art.
Visually, this film is very much the same.
This film is for the visually inclined moviegoer. The soft tones and lighting create a subtle fantasy world, which is perfect as we are guided through Hammond’s fiction.
Where the film fails as a whole is in its attempt to be poignant, but poignant it is in sparing moments. The most notable are in the early moments of the film, as father and son argue between choosing a stable career over an artful one, the unbeknownst trap of falling into the monotony of life or, the most interesting for younger folks, the struggling author pondering, “How does anyone get where they are in life?”
It is refreshing to see Cooper, People’s Sexiest Man Alive 2011, attempt to make the transition from a pretty face to a serious actor. Despite this solid attempt, his performance was brought down by the lack of energy in the film.
The acting in the film is solid throughout. Irons is outstanding as The Old Man, and he brings a lot of life to his small role.
But the problem is this film is predictable. Nothing surprising is revealed through the characters.
Every bit of information does nothing more than move the story along, which makes for a very dull film brought to an anticlimactic end.
The cast is stellar, but visually striking as the film may be, “The Words” lacks the language to carry audiences to the end.
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