My review of The Libertine.
The story of John Wilmot (Depp), a.k.a. the Earl of Rochester, a 17th century poet who famously drank and debauched his way to an early grave, only to earn posthumous critical acclaim for his lifes work.
Johnny Depp is, right at this moment, the biggest movie star in the world. Hes a bona fide heartthrob, an alpha male and has a practical and down to earth approach to his stardom. He is also the bravest movie star in the world. Taking on the odd roles, daringly contrary to his image. And he revels in them while being refreshingly grateful for the opportunity to perform them. After the thundering success of the first Pirates of the Caribbean, he took on various roles including but not limited to his memorable portrayals of Willy Wonka in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Sir James Barrie in Finding Neverland. These films were fated with the good fortune of expeditious commercial releases, which was not the case for The Libertine as it was plagued with financial and distribution troubles early on. But finally, it has arrived on our shores.
Depp portrays The Libertines mainstay, the historical figure of John Wilmot, the Second Earl of Rochester who was a sinner compared even to the Marquis de Sade. Asking for a succinct description would be complicated, but I will try. That said, it is very much a companion piece to Jack Sparrow, sans the absurdity. Also included is the minor and forgivable snag of his tacky accent that sounds like it was straight out of a Hallmark period piece. But therein lies sincerity in Depps depiction of a brilliant but fundamentally flawed man who reverberates the solitude and audacity felt in many of the greatest talents the world had, including Marlon Brando, to whom this film is dedicated....
I thought it was good not exactly as good as it could have been. Saved by its perfomances, you could say.