Television: The importance of being Ernest (and Martha)

  • @gillian_orr

The reviews are in for Hemingway & Gellhorn, the racy HBO television movie that aired in the US this week, and they're almost as hotheaded as the films' subjects.

Starring Clive Owen as Ernest Hemingway and Nicole Kidman as legendary war reporter Martha Gellhorn, the film begins with the pair meeting in a Florida bar in 1936 and chronicles their tumultuous relationship, marriage and divorce against a backdrop of some of the 20th century's most significant events.

The New York Times gave a withering put-down of the £9m picture, calling it "a disheartening misfire" and wincing at the "fake-poetic dialogue". Best of all was New York magazine, which concluded that its characters were "behaving less like cinematic avatars of real historical figures than hot-tempered Barbie and Ken dolls with genitals". Meow!