Home Resources Livejournal Feed Wordpress

Sunday, March 12, 2006

The Libertine

It looks like this film has finally been released in North America, after being produced in 2004 I believe.

The Libertine
Running Time: 114 mins
Genre: Drama
Starring: John Malkovich, Johnny Depp, Samantha Morton
Director: Laurence Dunmore
Distributor: The Weinstein Company
Release Date: 3/10/2006

Synopsis: An antidote to the sunny period pieces adopted from Jane Austen, which feature impeccably coiffed aristocracy engage in the witty banter of drawing room dramas and culminate in a most delightful denouement, THE LIBERTINE highlights the underbelly of the Britocracy 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 spent his days and nights in beds, brothels, and bars, awakening from drunken blackouts only to stumble to the nearest whorehouse. Yet this ravishing rake was also possessed of a predilection for poetry, and turned his escapades into acid-tongued witticisms that pepper this frisky film.

Too bad he wasn't much of a poet. But he is probably the namesake of our Mr Rochester. Mysteriously, the Bronteana post concerning my theories on this is missing- or at least I cannot find it using the nominal index system I rigged up. In short- he is not the Earl of Rochester, but there are some significant points of comparison. From this synopsis it looks like the film will be ignoring his famous death bed conversion to Christianity- which is to date what the few scholars writing on his connection to JE believe is the aspect being examined or... alluded to. As I said in the previous post, now lost in the archives, this film has one other interesting connection to Jane Eyre. Samantha Morton, who plays Rochester's mistress in this film is most famous for playing Jane in the 1997 film. The photo above shows Samantha Morton and Johnny Depp in a scene from The Libertine.


Mythosidhe said...

I saw Libertine this Friday past; the conversion scene is there, but it isn't given much signifigance in the context of the rest of the film.

Gorgeous movie, though maybe a bit...crude, to some tastes?

Brontëana said...

That is more than I would have given them credit for. I've heard that it is a bit crude, but knowing the works of the Earl of Rochester, 'a bit crude' is probably treading lightly!