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A Poet in New York (TV Movie 2014)
IMDB Rating: 7.0/10 from votes
Release: 18 May 2014 (UK) /

A Poet in New York (TV Movie 2014)

Genre: Biography, Drama
Director: Andrew Davies,
Stars: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Synopsis: In 1953 poet Dylan Thomas arrives in New York with his assistant and lover Liz Reitell to embark upon a tour of poetry readings, ending up in California where he hopes to meet Stravinsky. He is perpetually drunk, almost missing meetings, throwing up and taking a paranoid view of his long-suffering agent John Brinnin, whom he accuses of trying to defraud him. Whilst staying at the Chelsea hotel he recalls his upbringing in Wales, his affectionate exchange with his proud, ailing father - the inspiration for the poem 'Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night' - and his time with his wife Caitlin and daughter Aeronwy, as he writes ' Under Milk Wood'. Whilst he patches things up with John, his infidelity to both wife and mistress angers Liz and his excessive drinking ensures that he never gets to meet Stravinsky or survive beyond another few months. Written by don @ minifie-1

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Critic Reviews


An absolutely superb film dealing with a subject which reeks with creative pitfalls. Tom Hollander's bravura uncompromising performance was matched by a supporting cast - Phoebe Fox and Ewen Bremner were fabulous in particular - that allowed the director (Aisling Walsh) to paint a picture of this great poet's desperately sad life without whimsy, and without clichés. Beautifully photographed and realised, this was the best biopic I have seen for a long time.The script written by Andrew Davies used the poetry to great effect and balanced Thomas's brilliant language with some effective and poignant dialogue - no mean feat. The integration of period footage of New York in 1952 was seamless - presumably colorised Black and White, but the cinematography, costume design and art direction added a modern atmosphere to the film instead of the often used lazy cod stylised attempts at period visual approximation which make the imagery seem so unrealistic and unbelievable. For reasons that seem baffling, it wasn't given much promotion by the BBC. No doubt the schedulers were too busy pushing the other ridiculous rubbish TV executives pepper their schedules with these days. This was great television drama. On a philosophical note: I know about that desperation and pressures Walsh/Davies so cleverly delineated, and I know how seductive New York can be from its seedy dives, its cocktails, its somewhat superficial parties, and its artistic magnetism. Tragic that all these attractions have the power to destroy so much talent, and in Dylan Thomas's case, at such a tragically young age.

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