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 The Professor and the Madman 

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 The Professor and the Madman 
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Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2004 9:31 pm
Posts: 63748
Post The Professor and the Madman

The Professor and the Madman is a biographical drama directed by P.B. Shemran, from a screenplay by Shemran, and Todd Komarnicki, based on the 1998 book The Surgeon of Crowthorne by Simon Winchester. It stars Mel Gibson, Sean Penn, Natalie Dormer, Eddie Marsan, Jennifer Ehle, Jeremy Irvine, David O'Hara, Ioan Gruffudd, Stephen Dillane, and Steve Coogan.

Tue Apr 16, 2019 1:13 am
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Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2004 9:31 pm
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Post Re: The Professor and the Madman
It's ok. I thought it would be more of an engaging film with detail on the construction of the dictionary, journeying through the various hurdles they had to face in directly producing the first ever collection of words of the English language, and then filmed with Fincher-esque excellency turning a relatively boring subject into a gripping piece of entertainment. But it isn't that at all. It focuses more on the treatment of madman, Minor (Sean Penn) and his relationship with Murray (Mel Gibson) - which in and of itself isn't bad, it's just not what I wanted (I know, I know, the title is a give away).

The dictionary creation becomes the backdrop for certain things happening, but it's all character operatics, and we only once touch on a direct problem in the enormity of their task (finding citations for the 17th and 18th centuries for the word 'approve'). I enjoyed the politics between Murray, Coogan, and the Oxford board, but again it loses its way towards the end as I couldn't see the reason for why Murray was suddenly reinstated as chief editor.

Overall, it's decently filmed and watchable. Penn hams it up a bit too much in the vocal department (and I don't really like him as an actor anyway), and the whole plot of that Minor's victim's wife falling in love with her husband's killer is ridiculous. But Coogan and Gibson are good. Gibson effortlessly commits to his Scottish accent again and his appearance is delightfully 19th century. Coogan plays the kind man of wisdom, a fairy godfather type, with style and a smile.

Thu Apr 18, 2019 8:12 pm
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