[critical] Wonder Boys

Grady Tripp has had the fortune – and misfortune – to write once a cult novel. Since then, nothing. Squashed by his successful past, bruised by love, outrageously courted by her tenant, and destabilized by his protégé, the poor sees sommer to complete in 48 hours the endless roman fleuve that he is preparing maniaquement for years…

Author’s Note


Release Date : January 10, 2001

Directed by Curtis Hanson

Film american

With Michael Douglas, Tobey Maguire, Katie Holmes, Robert Downey Jr.

Duration : 1h50min

Trailer :

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Wonder Boys… In English, this means, of course, (and a little niaisement it is necessary to recognize it) of the ” Boys Wonderful.”

But these words hide another meaning. They describe the situation of a person once became famous and admired thanks to a work of art, very talented, but the public is always waiting for a second masterpiece, one that will confirm the talent of the author, a masterpiece that hardly see the light of day, and gradually replaced by its non-existence persistent to its predecessor, whose quality is progressively forgotten.

This is the case of Grady Tripp, a modest professor of anglo-saxon literature whose first book was a phenomenal success. And for the past seven years, his public expects its second installment, as Grady goes on to write, reshape, change, without getting to its end. His editor and friend, Terry Crabtree, who had also experienced success thanks to its author prodigy, makes it increasingly feel his impatience, using the pretext of a weekend of literary events organized by the university in which works Tripp to get around in person to see Grady in the hope, if not to start afresh with a new book under the arm, read a part and seriously motivate her more if a young ” protégé “.

James Leer, to him, is a young student of Tripp. Lonely, mythomaniac, tortured, depressed or even suicidal, talented aspiring writer and maybe also a future ” boy wonder “. It will be in the company of Tripp and Crabtree at this weekend’s university of December, a few snowy days during which all three will live experiences and lessons little academic leading them a little further in their understanding of themselves and people around them.

Michael Douglas is Grady Tripp. It really is, this role suits him perfectly. Quarantenaire hippie and eternal adolescent, ups and downs emotional he will live for these two hours of film would force him to finally put order in his life, including the chaos is symbolized by the book unfinished that the taunts of its white pages. Freshly divorced, lover of seals, maintaining a liaison secret with the wife of the dean of his university, his immaturity is similar to that of Crabtree, partier sexually unconventional, or that of James Leer, liar, compulsive almost against his will…

This film we made to accompany for a significant portion of their life, the outcome of which will be different for everyone, and that will look much more a new beginning than an end. The secondary characters such as the mistress of Tripp (played by Frances McDormand, excellent and full of nuances) or the seductive and insistent student of Grady Tripp (Katie Holmes), probably more attracted by the ex-selling author of the man itself, looks subtle and different the same pattern : the hard reconciliation of the future or this ungrateful adult life with the passions and desires of recklessness from the eternal teenager that is in us. The apparent lightness of this weekend’s initiation will have a resonance subtle for the viewer, who will lend the eye and the ear.

Moments intimate and pure scenes of comedy after another, Robert Downey Jr. is as we love it, it is funny and crazy, Tobey Maguire, far Spiderman, reminds us that his talent does not date only a couple of years. Only the character of Katie Holmes remains too superficial and less exploited, in contrast to the book of Michael Chabon which is resulting in this film, who brings more subtlety to this ” Lolita “…

Detail not negligible, the soundtrack is a superb collection of titles bluesy stamped 60’s-70’s, amongst which you will discover two songs of Bob Dylan , who wrote specially for the film the superb song “Things have changed” which opens the film. The staging of Curtis Hanson is nice and soft, avoiding the tape-to-eye to let the actors speak throughout the film.

A film that can be enjoyed as much as a subtle moment between close friends as a gentle evening lonely, introspective and melancholic.

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