Review: Depicting writers on film is hard, but 'The Laureate' has its moments

1/22/2022 10:20:00 AM

Review: Depicting writers on film is hard, but 'The Laureate' has its moments

Review: Depicting writers on film is hard, but 'The Laureate' has its moments

Biographical drama 'The Laureate' explores the post-World War I creative block and complex love life of British poet Robert Graves. Tom Hughes stars.

.The writing process is notoriously hard to depict onscreen in captivating ways, and “The Laureate,” a bio-drama about British war poet and authorRobert Graves, is no exception. But when a film like this, which aims to immerse us in a bygone world of creative inspiration and output, can’t sufficiently capture the grit, joy and catharsis of artistic achievement, it undercuts much of its potential power.

This is not to say that “The Laureate,” from writer-producer-director William Nunez, isn’t often watchable as it effectively re-creates the Roaring ’20s — and flashes of World War I — on a limited budget. The story of Graves (Tom Hughes) and his romantic and emotional entanglements, as he sets out to recapture his poetic mojo after a career-threatening dry spell, moves in some twisty and unpredictable directions — unless, of course, you’ve already read his acclaimed 1929 autobiography, “Good-Bye to All That.”

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