Jude Law, Don Hemingway


This is Jude Law like you've never seen him before.

The Brit hunk doesn't rely on his good looks to carry the title role in Dom Hemingway. In fact, Law's scruff and beer belly in the Richard Shepard-directed flick will almost make you forget how perfectly handsome he was in The Talented Mr. Ripley.

The film focuses on Law's larger-than-life character, who is on a mission to reconnect with his long-lost daughter and closest comrade after being incarcerated for 12 years.

Chaos ensues in the form of drugs, violence, and an unexpected but not-too-shabby shot of Law's naked bum.

And it appears that the actor's dramatic transformation distracts from the, well, otherwise lacking film.

Betsy Sharkey of the Los Angeles Times writes that "the movie is remarkable for its ability to exhaust, irritate and also entertain."

Dom Hemingway, Richard E. Grant, Jude Law

Fox Searchlight

While Sharkey doesn't entirely write off the movie, she does explain that Law does a fantastic job of making you both love and hate him at the same time.

"There is something worthy inside Dom Hemingway that keeps trying to surface," she adds. "But it is buried so deeply under distracting excesses that it makes the movie hard to forgive, harder still to love."

Her final thought being perhaps the most compelling, "I wish the film were more fun for the rest of us."

The common theme among most of the reviews of Shepard's film is that Law's performance is hypnotizing, to say the least, but that the picture doesn't quite match the Oscar-nominated actor's bravado.

Chicago Tribune writer Michael Phillips writes that "Law is both a superb technical actor and nervy showboater," but that "the self-consciousness of Dom, pure id, may be deliberate, but it has its drawbacks."

Dom Hemingway, Jude Law

Fox Searchlight

In the end, Phillips explains that "the material, limited payoff; the performer at the center, never less than arresting."

Meanwhile, Michael O'Sullivan of the Washington Post seemed to echo the previous reviews by praising Law's outlandish (and often times unlikeable) gusto.

"His performance—which starts at 11 and stays there—may well go down in history as one of the most colorful low-lifes ever committed to film."

O'Sullivan further explained that "you may find yourself watching…with more impatience than skepticism. The good Dom may be necessary, from a story point of view, but the bad one is more fun.

"It is doubtful that the movie itself will be so fondly remembered."

Dying to see Law as the Cockney criminal? Well you won't have to wait much longer because Dom Hemingway hits theaters today.

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