Hemingway & Gellhorn (2012) - Rotten Tomatoes

Hemingway & Gellhorn2012

Hemingway & Gellhorn (2012)



Critic Consensus: Nicole Kidman's poised performance provides some measure of reclamation for Martha Gellhorn, but this trite historical melodrama reduces Ernest Hemingway and the era that the two war correspondents lived through into a broad caricature.

Hemingway & Gellhorn Photos

Movie Info

A 1936 meeting between novelist Ernest Hemingway and war correspondent Martha Gellhorn sparks a nine-year relationship dominated by a volatile romance that nearly rivaled the combat zones into which they threw themselves in Spain, China, and World War II.

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Nicole Kidman
as Martha Gellhorn
Clive Owen
as Ernest Hemingway
David Strathairn
as John Dos Passo
Molly Parker
as Pauline Pfeiffer Hemingway
Rodrigo Santoro
as Paco Zarra
Parker Posey
as Mary Welsh Hemingway
Santiago Cabrera
as Robert Capa
Lars Ulrich
as Joris Ivens
Peter Coyote
as Maxwell Perkins
Joan Chen
as Madame Chiang
Saverio Guerra
as Sidney Franklin
Diane Baker
as Mrs. Gellhorn
Larry Tse
as Chiang Kai-shek
Anthony Wong
as Chou En-lai
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Critic Reviews for Hemingway & Gellhorn

All Critics (49) | Top Critics (28)

The movie builds a persuasive case for the trailblazing Gellhorn, who worked while Hemingway played. She didn't see herself as a footnote in his life, and this enjoyable movie makes sure she isn't.

June 3, 2020 | Full Review…

It may be too much to ask for a TV movie based on historical personages with such tumultuous lives to show some restraint. Then again, "too much" isn't a bad way to sum up the problems of Hemingway & Gellhorn.

June 3, 2020 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Kidman manages quietly to evoke something else of this ferocious, aging journalist -- an underlying and unsettling degree of disappointment and hurt.

June 1, 2020 | Full Review…

Kidman's Gellhorn, who periodically narrates the story from the future, reflects that they were "good together in war" and had no idea what to do without it. Neither, in a way, does the film

June 1, 2020 | Full Review…

Kidman practically swaggers through the role, channeling Lauren Bacall to such a degree that I almost expected her to ask co-star Clive Owen if he knows how to whistle.

June 1, 2020 | Full Review…

Get past the first hour and you've got a helluva good tale.

June 1, 2020 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Hemingway & Gellhorn


My Week with Marilyn, take note: this is a much better model for a "biopic" with two protagonists. The film's not perfect - a little wooden and jumps around in its second hour - but it makes sure to tell both characters' stories in a way that shows each's impact on the other. Furthermore, to this film's credit, it flips the "Martha Gellhorn is a footnote to the great Ernest Hemingway" binary on its head, giving her the narrative voice and challenging us to entertain the notion that, given her long and successful career as a war correspondent, we might do better to think of Papa as a footnote in her life. What you get, as a result, is the story of the dynamic between two strong-willed writers and a film reminiscent of one of my much-neglected favourites, Henry & June, also by Philip Kaufman. It's aptly titled, as it's truly about both people, and it's a smart and important addition to the Hemingway canon... regardless of whether it's actually "about" him.

Daniel Perry
Daniel Perry

Super Reviewer

Before we get started, I just wanna say, "Damn Nicki Kidman. DAT ASS!" Sleek and perky with no VPL. I imagine that's hard to do in the sweltering heat of Key West. Nicole Kidman plays intrepid war correspondent Martha Gellhorn with spirit and guts. As the young woman, she proves to be Hem's literary and sexual equal but eventually realizes that his is a pride so crippling that it would recognize no equal. As the older woman, she wears the age make-up naturally and stretches her gravelly voice into an emotional frame story. Clive Owen cuts a mean silhouette, but he is disappointing as Hemingway overall. His natural mush-mouthed British cadence gets mangled with Papa's gruff Patrician accent. I also have yet to see an actor deliver Papa's aphorisms without making him sound like a caricature. Owen's performance is not a huge problem though since this isn't so much a movie about Ernest Hemingway as it is a movie about Martha Gellhorn, who most literari know little about beyond her being Hem's third wife. This new focus into the woman behind the man who refused to get behind a woman (except in the boudoir) is commendable and generally well-plotted. The action gets a little confusing throughout, especially due to the baseless changing of hues from sepia-tone to technicolor. The sex scenes get a bit Lifetimey too.

Alice Shen
Alice Shen

Super Reviewer

Ernest Hemingway meets his match in the person of a fellow war correspondent, Martha Gellhorn. Despite the order of the title, this is a film about Martha Gellhorn, and it is through the lens of her life that we explore Hemingway. It's a structure that is good in theory, and the story, though as uneven and occasionally bipolar as Hem, is not one of the film's primary problems, provided one knows a lot about the politics of the time. Rather, the film mysteriously changes color like the director's four-year-old daughter wandered into the editing room; there were a few good theories as to why the film switched from color to black and white, but the next color switch defies all reason. In theory, Clive Owen is a good Hemingway, but the British actor's voice was off, and Owen's Hem is stronger when he's vulnerable, and his legendary bluster comes off like an actor chewing scenery rather than delivering a nuanced performance. By contrast, Nicole Kidman was fantastic, delivering one of the strongest performances of her career. Strong or vulnerable, Kidman is exceptional. Overall, this is a mixed bag with enough flaws too noticeable to ignore.

Jim Hunter
Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer

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