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- DescriptionAn antidote to the sunny period pieces adopted from Jane Austen, which feature impeccably coifed aristocrats engaging in the witty banter of drawing room dramas and culminating in most delightful denouements, THE LIBERTINE highlights the underbelly of the British aristocracy of centuries past. Adapted from the play by Stephen Jeffreys, the plot follows the dastardly debauchery of the Earl of Rochester (a mischievous Johnny Depp), a hedonist who makes Oscar Wilde seem moralistic. The Earl spends his days and nights in beds, brothels, and bars, awakening from drunken blackouts only to stumble to the nearest whorehouse. Yet this ravishing rake also possesses a talent for poetry, and turns his escapades into acid-tongued witticisms that pepper this frisky film. Directed by first-timer Laurence Dunmore, the historical film picks up in 1678, when the Earl returns to London at the behest of King Charles II (magnetically played by John Malkovich, who starred in the play when it was staged at Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre). With his young wife in tow, the Earl immediately immerses himself into a litany of transgressions. When he meets a prostitute and burgeoning actress named Elizabeth Barry (Samantha Morton), he obsessively takes her under his wing, crafting her into an acclaimed stage starlet and eventually bedding her. What follows is a spiral upward, downward, and sideways through the city's pleasure palaces, culminating in a quasi-tragic, quasi-relieving denouement. Melding the naughty energy of his 'Pirates Of The Caribbean' character with the brooding darkness of his wearied detective in 'From Hell', Depp gives a pitch-perfect performance that carries the film, eliciting strange sympathy for such a despicable devil. The score, by the award-winning composer Michael Nyman, adds even further moodiness and dramatic edge to the story.
- Leading Role 1Johnny Depp
- Director 1Laurence Dunmore
- Leading Role 2John Malkovich
- Leading Role 3Samantha Morton
- Additional Roles byShane MacGowan,Tom Hollander,Rosamund Pike,Rupert Friend
- ProducerJohn Malkovich,Russ Smith,Lianne Halfon
- ScreenwriterStephen Jeffreys
- Release FormatDVD
- Release Year2006
- Additional GenrePeriod
- Running Time114 minutes
Most relevant reviews
- edithsinteriors26 Oct, 2016byTop favourable review
Enjoyed this film very much
Verified purchase: Yes | Condition: Pre-owned
- phil-photo10 May, 2016byTop critical review
Visually very appealing but I found the storyline very slow.
The product arrived quickly and in very good condition. I was very happy with my purchase.
Verified purchase: Yes | Condition: Pre-owned
- badgersbullies17 Jul, 2010by
Excellent period film well worth the money............................................................................................................
- duplevegamajor26 Sep, 2009by
the libertine Johnny depp
a very unusuall film not one of johnny depp's best but still a good 7/10 film in historical costume drama genre. based in england just after the restoration of the monarchy(1660) depp plays a fornicating earl of rochester drinking and whoreing his way through the film but you dont get to see much action most of it out of camera so most of it is up to your imagination. not much in the history of the period but a damn good romp when he teaches miss barry how to act it reminds me of my fair lady but on the scale of debbie does dallas. its 18 certificate but its very soft porn esspecially when johnny vegas moons at the crowd in the theatre. a good film could become a classic only because of mr depp and mr malkovich being the two principle actors if lesser actors would have been cast the film would just be a one watch then sell on. give it a go 7/10 Read full review
- funkyphil35911 Jul, 2009by
I bought the dvd because it was baudy, but I was pleasantly surprised by the acting of Johnny Depp, Samantha Morton and John Malkovitch. Don't get me wrong there is a lot of swearing and no holding back on anything. Johnny Depp is superb as the Earl of Rochester. He did everything to excess, but when he decides to nurture Mrs Barry's talent as an actress, we watch as she rises in power, whilst he slips further down the ladder. The film colour is dull, but otherwise it is very much like observing actors on a stage in close quarters. The director explains a lot about the film, but not why it is such a dull colour. Otherwise superb.
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