RB score: 10/10
This independent film, which obviously did not enjoy big box office, is nevertheless hugely satisfying and falls into the category of Movies Where the Critics Just Don’t Get It. It will not appeal to everyone, for example, it is not an action movie, not a thriller, not a comedy, and not porn. It is however, what a movie should be, a story that takes the viewer along on the journey. This is a truly fine production with excellent writing, editing, acting,directing, and cinematography.
Writers will be especially captivated as “The Words” speaks directly to them. Bradley Cooper, who I often find annoying and overrated, delivers a surprisingly nuanced performance as the conflicted writer trying to make a living from his craft. Zoe Saldana plays his wife with a sort of low key chemistry and charm that is consistent with the overall tone of the film. Solid supporting performances by Dennis Quaid as the seasoned author and Jeremy Irons as the old man whose manuscript was lost as a young man, contribute to a finished product that has a coherent structure despite its somewhat complex framework.
With so many movies where the filmakers seem hell bent on hitting the audience over the head or between the eyes with the intended meaning, there is something almost miraculous about the occasional film that still depends on good writing and subtle performances to deliver the message. This is most definitely that movie. Like other good movies of this type, you are left pondering the questions instead of being spoon fed the answers.