Misery And Muses On 'The Edge Of Love'

Matthew Rhys and Sienna Miller i i

Love Among The Ruins: Dylan Thomas (Matthew Rhys) and his wife, Caitlin (Sienna Miller), battle temptation and jealousy in John Maybury's film. Liam Daniel/Capitol Films hide caption

itoggle caption Liam Daniel/Capitol Films
Matthew Rhys and Sienna Miller

Love Among The Ruins: Dylan Thomas (Matthew Rhys) and his wife, Caitlin (Sienna Miller), battle temptation and jealousy in John Maybury's film.

Liam Daniel/Capitol Films

The Edge of Love

  • Director: John Maybury
  • Genre: Drama
  • Running Time: 110 minutes

Not Rated

Keira Knightley i i

Dark Lady: Keira Knightley plays Vera, the poet's muse, who unexpectedly turns up in his life years after an earlier encounter. Liam Daniel/Capitol Films hide caption

itoggle caption Liam Daniel/Capitol Films
Keira Knightley

Dark Lady: Keira Knightley plays Vera, the poet's muse, who unexpectedly turns up in his life years after an earlier encounter.

Liam Daniel/Capitol Films

The Edge of Love has quite the pedigree. Its actors are gifted and almost criminally attractive. Plus, its story involves the tempestuous private life of Dylan Thomas, one of Britain's biggest literary celebrities.

But instead of inspiring superlatives, The Edge of Love leaves a bitter, unsatisfying aftertaste that lingers for days.

Keira Knightley is Vera, a beautiful young singer who attracts the attention of an earnest young soldier during the Blitz. But Vera only has eyes for her old childhood pal Dylan Thomas. Then Dylan's wife (Sienna Miller) shows up at a London pub, and the party really begins.

The film is full of jaunty-in-the-face-of-death dialogue. But all of its characters, especially the egocentric poet, come off as much more off-putting than the film considers them to be.

The Edge of Love alternates between glitz and unpleasantness, ending up as a kind of glum soap opera, too glam to be bleak and too bleak to be so glam.

And it doesn't get any better when things get worse. The soldier is sent overseas, directly into the horrors of war, and the screams of wounded men are soon intercut with the cries of a woman giving birth back home in Britain. Yes, it's that kind of movie.

What follows is a tsunami of loneliness, jealousy and messy emotional entanglements. Taken all together, these people's lives come off as irritating, not enthralling.

To put it bluntly, you don't particularly like anyone in this movie when they're happy, and you like them even less when they're not.

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