Movie Review: Genius makes the old-fashioned fresh again, at least for awhile

There’s a reason we make movies about tempestuous artists. Their outsized and larger-than-life personalities are a natural fit for the big screen. Quiet, reserved types don’t elicit the same reaction: It’s exciting to depict the life of Ernest Hemingway, less so homebody Don DeLillo. In Genius, an account of novelist Thomas Wolfe’s literary career as seen through the eyes of his editor, Maxwell Perkins (and based on the biography Max Perkins: Editor Of Genius), the standard biopic filter of seeing a spitfire soul through the lens of a more reserved and relatable associate succeeds to a greater degree than usual. It’s a case of the straight man getting his due, a film praising discretion as the better part of valor—to tweak the old gendered expression, behind every great writer lies a great editor.

Genius wants to show its audience how the literary sausage gets …

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