Arthur Newman (2012) Poster

(2012)

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8/10
It's not as simple as it seems ... *spoilers*
Jelena55511 February 2014
Warning: Spoilers
This movie was almost too much for me. I couldn't go through it at once. I had to stop it around 20 minutes before the end, and continue three days later. No, it wasn't scary, no it wasn't too sad, it wasn't bad, and it wasn't too special, either. It seemed shallow on the surface, but getting deeper and deeper as you peal the layers of the main characters - Wallace/Arthur and Charlotte/Mike. They were too dysfunctional, yet too perfect for each other. It is sometimes weird how not opposites, but similarities attract. And that attraction is much stronger, although with a string of weirdness. It's a way of approving yourself, finding comfort and finding accomplice in being yourself ... Two reasons made me stop. Firstly, the conflict in me caused by the depressive tone of the movie versus the fact that I liked Wallace and Charlotte and on some level justified their actions, especially Wallace's. And second because I knew they have to get apart. That was the only answer. That was the right thing to do.

However, I was happy to see growth in both characters at the end, and the stable and rightful personality of Wallace overpowering his weaknesses and momentary confusion, as well as influencing Charlotte to find that better person in herself.

I didn't really like Anne Heche's character. She was cold, dull and in a way stuck to a routine. Although Wallace seemed boring on the outside, he wasn't with Charlotte. He was daring, funny and passionate. He was in the here and now. Minus the crimes they did, Wallace deserves such kind of relationship.

I'm giving this movie an 8/10. It made me think, it made me re-think some of my personal stuff, it made me more grateful for what I have, even if only for an hour and a half, it made me realize that you can become whoever you want to become, but you can never escape from yourself.

Line that will stay with me: "It's a lot easier to love a dead man, isn't it?"
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7/10
Just for the chance to see Firth and Blunt, this somber yet touching film is worthwhile
inkblot1112 August 2014
Arthur Newman (Colin Firth) is trying to live a new life. He was formerly a struggling golf pro and shipping manager with a nice-looking girlfriend (Anne Heche). But, things were not going well. He was also estranged from his almost-a-teen son. So, since he lives near Jacksonville Florida, he fakes his own death by drowning and takes off. Newman, a fake name for his newly acquired life, is on his way to Terre Haute Indiana to become a posh country club golf pro, with made-up credentials, for the most part. But, on the long journey, he stumbles upon a lady, Mike, er, Michaela, (Emily Blunt) who may be suffering more than he is. She is drunk and Arthur views her being taken to jail by the police. Giving a made up story, Arthur springs her from jail and stays with her until she is sober again. Tentatively, they strike up a friendship, as Mr. Newman learns that Mike may not be her REAL name, either. In any case, Mike agrees to go to Indiana with this handsome man. Along the way, they strangely break into houses that are temporarily empty, try on clothes, take pictures and pretend even more. But, as Arthur soon learns, Mike does have some truly intense baggage in her past. Will they succeed in forging new lives without consequences? This somber, touching film is dead serious most of the time. Oh, the scenes from the dress-up days have humor and there are occasionally funny lines. But, mostly, this movie deals with very complex issues and is not really a light-hearted flick. Naturally, Firth and Blunt, excellent thespians both, do fine work and look great together. Also wonderful is the changing scenery, the supporting cast, and the courage to tackle the anything-but-fairy-tale life of its two main characters. No, its not a movie to watch when you, the viewer, have some sobering problems in your own life. But, fans of these two British thespians will want to try this one, too.
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10/10
Great underrated movie.
mirveh30 September 2015
Like many of the viewers I chose to watch this for the stars, King George VI and Queen Victoria (Firth and Blunt) But I would have given it a pass if I had looked up the reviews before taking it out of my local library . Big mistake.

Never have I seen a film so consistently panned, and never have I thought the critics so consistently mistaken! Both the professional critics and other amateur viewers. To be fair, the latter gave it slightly better ratings, but not much better. Few of either stripe liked it.

Granted, it is not an easy film to watch. Its not a comedy and its not a road movie though it is zany and it does take place on the road. In fact it is in a category all its own, and for anyone who understands Colin Firth's line "Family just crushes your heart, doesn't it?", it is a deeply moving observation of what it means to be human. I won't say I came away from the movie feeling good, but I did come away feeling less alone.

These are the last words spoken in the film, before each of the leading characters returns separately from their wild escapade to shoulder their family responsibilities. We see, and feel, them doing this with no words spoken.

Charlotte(Mike) "Good bye, Wallace"

Wallace(Arthur) "Don't worry. I know where to find you!"

I give it 10 out of 10 Don't miss it.
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7/10
Different, if not entirely unique
shanki-k15 February 2014
I watched Arthur Newman simply because I found it by accident. While it's not the best film I've seen, I do believe everyone did a credible job with very little material. Colin Firth and Emily Blunt are good, doing the best they could with the somewhat underdeveloped characters. However, I feel the characters are presented as such on purpose, to make of them what we personally will.

The film moves slowly, but is in no way boring. An experienced film buff would be fine with its pace and be relatively engaged in the story line as well.

Arthur Newman is not for a generic audience. It requires a specific taste in films to be enjoyed for what it is - a thought-provoking story
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5/10
Terre Not Quite So Haute
sherilcox30 April 2013
This road movie, featuring solid performances from its main players, doesn't seem to know where it's going. While "Arthur Newman" presents many quirky or compelling tableaux, I was rather frustrated by the filmmaker's (Dante Ariola) detours and dead ends. Or perhaps it was writer Becky Johnston's tepid story that ran out of fuel.

Frankly, I didn't care one way or another if the main characters ever resolved their respective conflicts, and after the first thirty minutes I felt like I was simply watching the same scene over and over again, like an endless roundabout. I was so uninvolved in the relationship(s) that it felt like nothing of any real substance was truly at stake or on the line.
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6/10
Slow but just short of boring, with some worthy acting
secondtake12 November 2013
Arthur Newman (2012)

Though the whole enterprise is built on a huge and somewhat false contrivance (a man taking on a new identity and picking up a troubled woman along the way who also is playing games with her identity), it all works better than you might think. And it's largely because of Colin Firth and Emily Blunt, both strong and understated leads. Blunt in particular has qualities that are interesting without merely being "star" material. Firth, of course, is a mega-star and he's playing his quiet man with familiarity here.

The director Dante Ariola is only on his second film and the writer is on his first (after a few screenplays based on other people's stories). And I guess it shows in many little ways, including a script that doesn't seem believable at times. Then at other times it's believable but not that interesting. What keeps it floating through these waves is a sense of pace and ease with the two actors, who of course are seasoned and respected stars.

This is both a downer movie with two unhappy leads trying to survive their lives and a feel-good movie about people who find something in each other to survive. It's not quite a romance that develops (it's not "Leaving Las Vegas"), but there is a kind of loving co-dependence. It's meant to be deeper and more moving than it is— mostly a issue of the writing again—but you get the drift and it works overall.

In the end, at the end, you wish so much it had been more than it was. It has so many interesting qualities that don't get pulled out—the surprising convergence in the plot, the game of taking on identities, the psychological depth of being who you are and accepting that—I felt let down by what did happen. The solutions are a bit obvious and almost cheap, depending on formulas seen before. Which is too bad because the set-up and the actors are worth more than that.
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6/10
not a great script
blanche-211 February 2014
I guess I can see why Colin Firth would be attracted to the role of a depressed American, but really, the script wasn't up to his level.

Firth and Emily Blunt star in "Arthur Newman," a 2012 film directed by Dante Ariola. Wallace Avery (Firth) is unhappy at his job as a floor manager. He's divorced, has a girlfriend (Anne Heche), and a young son who hates him. An excellent golfer, he didn't make it as a pro because of nerves. However, he helped a man with his slice, and as a result, has been offered the job of golf pro at a club in Terre Haute, Indiana. He fakes his death and takes off.

Along the way, he helps a young woman (Blunt) by taking her to the hospital. When she's better, she goes with him. Eventually, they become lovers. He finds out she's using a fake identity as well, running from a twin sister who is schizophrenic and may need her.

The two of them start to break into people's houses and take on their identities and make love in their beds.

This is a pretty boring, slow movie enlivened by the performances of the two leads. Along the way we learn something about the characters, but not enough to become truly invested in them. We just know they're miserable. We know Wallace's son hates him because he wasn't there for him, but we don't know why or what went on between them, or what happened with his ex-wife, and why his girlfriend is discontented.

It's sad because this could have been an amazing movie. It's about two people that learn what they love about each other and their value to those left behind. But it doesn't go into these facets deeply enough.

Both Firth and Blunt are excellent, trying to flesh out what's there. In the end, I was sympathetic to the characters but not really involved with them. It was sort of like giving street directions to two strangers and then wishing them luck.
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3/10
An illusion of being more thoughtful than it actually is
GirishGowda16 September 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Wallace Avery (Colin Firth) hates his job. His ex-wife and son hate him, and he's blown his one shot at living his dream. Not wanting to face all this, he stages his own death and buys himself a new identity as Arthur Newman. However, Arthur's road trip towards a new life is interrupted by the arrival of the beautiful but fragile Mike (Emily Blunt), who is also trying to leave her past behind. Drawn to one another, these two damaged souls begin to connect as they stalk, break into empty homes and take on the identities of the absent owners: elderly newlyweds, a high-roller and his Russian lady, among others. Through this process, Arthur and Mike discover that what they love most about each other are the identities they left at home, and their real journey, that of healing, begins.

The characters may be quirky, but they're not likable. Loneliness can be depressing, but Wallace doesn't have much reason to leave everything and everyone behind in such an inhumane way. Him and Mike stalking and living other people's lives in their homes, wearing their clothes, sleeping on their bed to cope with their own problems was quite weird and frankly, not much fun to watch. The effect is greater if you tune out the joyful background score. That might have been what they were going for, but it doesn't translate well on-screen. Great actors like Emily Blunt and Colin Firth are simply wasted here. They have no chemistry with one another and during many moments, Wallace just seemed like her father which was disturbing. I also don't know why Mina (Anne Heche) was written the way she was. This grown, professional woman was like a meek teenager around that little kid. Someone realized how banal the whole thing was and did the only thing they could to distract people from realizing that. They threw in a lot of a half-naked Emily Blunt and showed lots of acts which just wasn't warranted and came off as tacky. The movie tries to be thoughtful, but it cannot sustain that illusion. There's also a half-baked, contrived message in there somewhere to treasure what you already have or something. Unfortunately, it still doesn't salvage this movie from being incredibly boring.

3/10
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6/10
Always interesting, extremely well acted, but a film with glaring inconsistencies
callanvass14 October 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Wallace Avery (Colin Firth) is hated by his own son, and is completely bored of his lifestyle. He fakes his death, and assumes a new identity named Arthur Newman to recommence his life. He meets a troubled woman who calls herself Mike (Emily Blunt) who also happens to be starting over with her life.

I actually didn't mind this film. It's a decent story. Colin Firth & Emily Blunt are on the top of their game, and managed to make this movie thoroughly watchable. My problem with the movie is that it seems a bit hollow. It's hard to feel sympathy for someone we don't know much about. Wallace Avery is a man with an estranged son, and a bit of an identity crisis, and I had real issues with it. Despite that Colin Firth was excellent himself, his character isn't that endearing. All we really know is that he's bored of his current lifestyle. I wanted more emotion, more background, and more development with the character. It seemed a little rushed. Emily Blunt's unpredictability was always fun, but like Firth, I also wanted more background on her, despite that Blunt was absolutely tremendous with her performance. I was never bored at all, and it had moments that were really good, but some things were poorly developed to my taste. The ending is rather ambiguous. It doesn't end on a sad note, but all it really tells us is that both of their fantasies of starting a new life is over, and it's back to reality. I appreciated that it had the guts to take a risky route at the end, but more clarity also would have been nice, since the movie is rather depressing to watch.

Final Thoughts: It's certainly worth a look. It'll maintain your interest, if nothing else. Colin Firth & Emily Blunt will get you through it just fine. It's just too bad it was rushed

6/10
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6/10
Good movie with great acting that is worth watching but be prepared. It's a little depressing. I do recommend though. I say B
cosmo_tiger27 August 2013
"So you just ditched Wallace Avery for a total strangers half baked promise?" Wallace Avery (Firth) is a divorced man who hates his job and his life. Wanting to start fresh he decides to stage his own death and head to Indiana to become a golf teacher. Changing his name to Arthur Newman he is on his way when he meets a woman named Mike (Blunt). Both on the run from their own lives the begin to assume other people's identities but memories of their old lives begin to creep back up. This movie first and foremost has great acting and is very interesting and worth watching. On the other hand though it is a little slow in parts and seems repetitive. This is a movie of fiction but has the feel of a true story. I do recommend this movie but it isn't really a movie you can watch over and over because it is pretty depressing. It's hard to talk about this movie with out giving anything away and it really is a pretty good movie but don't expect a happy movie. Overall, a good movie with great acting that is worth watching but be prepared. I give it a B.
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8/10
'If you don't have a life, get someone else's.'
gradyharp10 September 2013
Director Dante Ariola may not have a lot of credentials as yet, but taking chances with stories such as this one written by Becky Johnston (Seven Years in Tibet, The Prince of Tides, etc), stories that dare take the unexpected path for how people are finding the human condition rather chaotic, suggests that we have a very creative artist in the making. Blessed with a quartet of fine actors in the leading roles and a small but impressive supporting cast, this film is just far enough off center to make it refreshingly refreshing.

The story follows the mid-life travails of sad sack FedEx floor manager Wallace Avery (Colin Firth) who is estranged from his ex-wife and angry young son Grant (Sterling Beaumon) and spends his time with his 'lover' Mina (Anne Heche in a fine performance) who loves him despite the fact that Wallace is boring. He decides to refuse to face a life he hates, stages his own death and buys himself a new identity as Arthur Newman. However, Arthur's road trip towards a new life is interrupted by the arrival of the beautiful but fragile Mike (Emily Blunt), who is also trying to leave her past behind: her mother committed suicide, her sister is in a mental institution, and Mike has assumed her sister's name to avoid having to create a life of her own. Drawn to one another, these two damaged souls begin to connect as they break into empty homes and take on the identities of the absent owners - elderly newlyweds, a high- roller and his Russian lady, among others - all supposedly brief moments on their road trip to Terre Haute, Indiana where Arthur believes he has a job as a golf pro - the promise of a chance encounter with one strange Fred Willoughby (the gifted David Andrews). That goal is a dead end, and through this process, Arthur and Mike discover that what they love most about each other are the identities they left at home, and their real journey begins.

Colin Firth and Emily Blunt are consummate actors and bring these odd characters to life: they successfully manage comedic situations but always hold closely to the sad underpinnings of their characters' tortured souls. The story is odd, being a variation of a road trip by very lonely and desperate people, but somehow it enters the head and heart and is cause for contemplation.

Grady Harp
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4/10
Not too bad but its slightly boring to watch
lisafordeay1 February 2015
Warning: Spoilers
I have never even heard of this movie before so I just watched it on DVD and here is my review.

The movie is about a man named Wallace Avery(played by Colin Firth sporting an American accent) who hates his life,he decides to fake his own death by making out he went missing. So he goes under the new name Arthur Newman who is a professional golfer. Later he meets a troubled woman who goes by Mike aka Michalea(played by Into The Woods Emily Blunt)who left her schizophrenic sister and assumes her identity as her real name is Charlotte. So the two decide to go off on a road trip together,break into people's houses and of course have hot steamy sex while there at it.

Overall I just watched this out of the new as like I said have never even heard of this movie as I got it today. The acting I must say was great Blunt and Firth had great chemistry together and their accents were spot on as both are British. Bottom line if you like road trip movies then check it out. But to be honest I found this one very depressing,thank god it was only on for an hour and a half if it was on for longer I would have turned it off.

Out of 5 its a 2.8/5 and out of 10 its a 4/10 because of the actors for the premise its very complicated to follow and the setting is rather depressing.

C-
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3/10
So Unrealistic! 3/10
leonblackwood6 September 2014
Review: I found this storyline to be weak and a bit silly. If your going to fake your own death, surely your going to change the way you look and try and keep undercover. Anyway, the director really didn't think the whole storyline through and the acting, from these 2 A-listers, wasn't that terrific. The way that Colin Firth's character thoroughly planned his own death to become a golf pro, ditching his son in the process, was a recipe for disaster right from the beginning and when Blunts character was added to the mix, it just made things worse. The love story was predictable and the ending was very sketchy. Basically the director left it up to the audience to make up there own mind about Firth's character returning to reality, which could have been written much better. Anyway, I did loose interest halfway through the movie and I struggled to keep my eyes open. Disappointing! 

Round-Up: Colin Firth's career really does have it's up and downs. After winning the Oscar for The King's Speech, which he did deserve, and starring in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, he hasn't really starred in any major roles. With the release of Before I Go To Sleep coming out soon, maybe this will bring him back to the limelight. Emily Blunt seems to act the same in all of her movies, but she has been cast in some big budget blockbusters. From The Devil Wears Prada to the Edge Of Tomorrow, I doubt that this low budget movie will damage her career. As the movie is based around these 2 characters, there isn't that much to say about the rest of the cast, but I was expecting something better from these 2 major stars. 

Budget: N/A Worldwide Gross: $208,000 (Terrible!)

I recommend this movie to people who are into there dramas about a man faking his own death to work in a gold club. 3/10
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8/10
Meet Willie Loman's cousin, Arthur Newman
pixrox125 May 2013
Warning: Spoilers
In an obvious homage to (if not an outright rip-off of) Arthur Miller's seminal play about facing life in the fast lane of corporate America when a guy is a tortoise, not a hare, Miller's "successful" suicide Willie morphs into a slightly more imaginative "fake" suicide Wallace Avery, who dubs himself Arthur Newman (as in a New Man, get it?) in an attempt to use upwards of $50,000 from his savings account to start a new life. Despite giving himself the first name of a guy married to Marilyn Monroe (Miller), this "fake" Arthur is not a successful author when it comes to writing a fairy tale ending. Instead, he hooks up with an even bigger whacko, Mike (played by Emily Blunt) who is burdened by the urge to impersonate her institutionalized paranoid schizophrenic twin sister, whose condition drove their mom to suicide! Naturally, "Arthur" and "Mike" decide that the best step toward making a happier future for themselves is to stage a series of role-playing home invasions. Is this enough to carry a light comedy? I've seen a lot worse.
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2/10
Dreadfully Boring
3xHCCH13 October 2013
"Arthur Newman" is the new name taken by down-in-the-dumps guy Wallace Avery, who was divorced, estranged from his son and trapped in a dead-end job. He faked his own death and created for himself this fictitious persona, hoping to recapture his spark for life as a golf pro somewhere in middle America.

Along his way, he meets another depressed soul in the person of a quirky young woman named Mike. They hook up, and drive aimlessly around. They stalk couples who go on vacation, break in and live in their abandoned houses. Until one day comes, and they realize the uselessness of what they were doing.

It is sad for me to write that a movie starring very talented and likable stars like Colin Firth and Emily Blunt had actually been a dreadful bore. The characters these two play have absolutely nothing good nor charming in them for the audience to root for, or even simply to like. There is nothing to care about them.

Overall, this movie is an insipid waste of time. This film will be forgotten immediately after you have seen it. The combination of Firth and Blunt may have sounded exciting on paper. However, no amount of talent or charisma of these two stars can save the bleakness and wretchedness of the script.
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4/10
The film needs more than talents willing to go slumming
StevePulaski29 October 2013
Every now and then actors with sizable names do something in the industry known as "slumming." This is a film with a significantly smaller budget that has well-known actors. This can often give actors range and prove to the public that they are capable of handling roles in smaller movies. Sometimes such an action can pay off. Look at Greg Kinnear in Little Miss Sunshine, Matt Damon in Gerry. Such roles can pay off immensely for actors and show diversity in character acting.

And other times the film itself can be completely unnecessary and a very dull slog despite actors' good intentions. So is the case with Collin Firth, who gives a fairly strong performance but can't overcome the offbeat eccentricities and the rather lame fable on the American Dream of starting ones' life over. Material like this sounds good on paper and in our heads, as we can relate this back to the ideology of the American Dream and the pursuit of happiness, but rarely is the matter very compelling on camera. This especially is the case with Fith's Arthur Newman character being very vanilla and, despite unique efforts, rather ordinary.

Firth's character's birthname is Wallace Avery, but he feels he was born inhabiting someone else's life. A golf professional, but still unsatisfied with life's offerings, he takes it upon himself to change his identity to that of "Arthur Newman." Soon after this decision is made, Arthur finds a barely-conscious woman outside named Charlotte Fitzgerald (Emily Blunt), traveling under the fictional name "Michaela" or "Mike." Arthur's timely actions of taking the woman to the hospital give her back her consciousness after an apparent overdose. When she comes back, Michaela and Wallace take a liking to each other and decide to embark on an impromptu roadtrip to Indiana, where they can live the more solemn life they've always wanted.

Firth and Blunt are both gifted character actors, with Firth winning an Oscar for his beautiful portrayal of King George IV on The King's Speech and Blunt coming off several great comedies last year with the directing likes of Judd Apatow and Lynn Shelton. Their chemistry and breezy dialog exchanges are the faint, weakening glue holding the film together before it crumbles. Arthur Newman's serious problem is its redundant scenes of self-discovery and disregarding ones' personal life for the benefit of having a cleaner, fresher slate. This concept hooks better as just that - a concept that comes up over drinks, dinner, or a nice long walk down the street. Not a ninety-three minute film with the profound qualities of a pamphlet.

Now, nearly every idea could make a great film, depending on the way a director, writer, actor, and cinematographer choose to handle the material. I have no doubt that Arthur Newman could've been a terrific film if taken with a fresher, more intriguing direction. The one present here gives every interesting event a "been-there-done-that" quality. Consider the scene when Arthur attempts to save the life of Michaela. This scene should be gripping and terrifying, but it winds up falling completely flat thanks to the flat direction taken by Dante Ariola.

Arthur Newman is a wholesome parable at least in the regard that it tells the story with convincing performances and a touch of realism. However, this does not excuse the bland writing and extraordinarily brave premise made turned more into a pedestrian-piece of fiction. Seeing Firth go slumming could definitely be a great thing in the future, but he best choose to slum in places where there is a need for more than a willing actor.

Starring: Colin Firth and Emily Blunt. Directed by: Dante Ariola.
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8/10
It Could Have Been A Better Film
Desertman8423 July 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Arthur Newman is a comedy/drama that features Colin Firth, Emily Blunt and Anne Heche together with David Andrews,Sterling Beaumon,Kristin Lehman and Lucas Hedges.The screenplay is directed by Becky Johnson and it is directed by Dante Ariola.

The movie tells the story of the not so glorious life of Wallace Avery, a middle aged man who hates his job, gets no respect from his family, wife and son, and sees no accomplishments for his long term hopes.Finally decided to end this charade, he gets hit by a new ideology: "If you don't have a life, get someone else's". Not willing to waste anymore precious time, he fakes his own death and assumes the identity of Arthur Newman, opening new opportunities and ready to start a new life.When he meets Michaela "Mike" Fitzgerald, whom Arthur discovers passed out poolside at a seedy roadside motel.Eventually,painful secrets unfold and new lives take shape as he is about to discover a new world and a new style of living on the edge, which however it seems to be somehow what he was looking for a very long time.

Too bad that the film doesn't display any real interest in capturing and sustaining the viewer's interest, as it progresses at an unreasonably deliberate pace that's compounded by a narrative that's jam-packed with hackneyed elements and twists.Also,the viewer is subsequently forced to wait for something interesting or worthwhile to occur, and it goes without saying that the movie's ability to stave off total mediocrity is due primarily to Blunt and Firth's competent acting.

The generic feel that's been hard-wired into virtually everything that transpires within as it grows more and more disheartening as time progresses, which does, as expected, prevent one from working up any interest in the characters' inevitable transformation into happier, more content figures.Added to that,there's a real lack of depth, as evidenced by a thin subplot about the burgeoning relationship between Arthur's grieving girlfriend and his son.

It's a shame, really, as Arthur Newman could and should have been something good, instead of a disappointing waste of time both for those involved in its production and for those saddled with the task of watching it.
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6/10
Rather pointless, but with solid performances
yris200220 September 2013
Warning: Spoilers
From the point of view of script and character study the picture doesn't offer very much to think about, dialogues are not that interesting, and characters, taken both as individuals with personal conflicts, and as parts of complicated relationships are not well developed, each of them leading a difficult life, carrying a painful past, but never coming out thoroughly.

What stands out is the unexpected chemistry between Colin Firth and Emily Blunt, being both talented actors, they offer solid performances and can involve the viewer, along their escape in this kind of road movie, although their search for other people's identities always remains at a superficial level. In the end the viewer wonders where the point was and the final turning point sounds predictable and too hasty. Had the movie had a different, more dramatic but more realistic finale, it would have certainly gained more depth and credibility.
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7/10
"Terre Haute," the working title is better than "Arthur Nwman"
garydthst2 May 2013
Arthur Newman is not so much a failure as a story as it is a failure as a movie. Quirky and extreme as the characters may be, they do face the human problem of opting for stasis or change. Both choices require a kind of courage. Both choices are usually entered into or denied existence without full comprehension of their actually being choices. Terre Haute, the destination/objective that fails to reinvent, wash away, the memories and humanity of the main characters in this movie might stand for anything that brings relief to the living from life. The sex games played in the movie are a drug, a temporary respite, an aside to what is important in this story of choices faced. It is also why this movie fails as the art piece it aspires to be. But the failure is only a nod, a compromise to the commercial requirements of the film industry. So what's new.

QUESTION: Can anyone tell me the ties this film has to the work of Richard Brautigan? Brautigan is mentioned deep and fleetingly in the credits.
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5/10
More Missing Than His Identity!
HollywoodJunket27 April 2013
Warning: Spoilers
"Arthur Newman" opens with a scene of the main character, Wallace Avery, played by Academy Award winning actor Colin Firth (The King's Speech) talking to an employment worker at the "Florida Department of Labor" as she asks him if he has been looking for work after his last dead-end job. As the audience is gradually introduced to Wallace's hum-drum life, it is quickly evident why he decides to shake things up.

Longing for more excitement and giving-up on his efforts to become closer to his son and ex-wife, Wallace sets out for a private adventure to a pro golf course where he was promised a shot at a better life. Carefully planning the steps, Wallace disappears after a camping trip on the beach. His long-time girlfriend, Mina Crawley (Anne Heche) and son are the two who end-up missing Wallace the most and comfort each other with memories and nights of sharing his home together.

"Arthur Newman" opens with a scene of the main character, Wallace Avery, played by Academy Award winning actor Colin Firth (The King's Speech) talking to an employment worker at the "Florida Department of Labor" as she asks him if he has been looking for work after his last dead-end job. As the audience is gradually introduced to Wallace's hum-drum life, it is quickly evident why he decides to shake things up.

Longing for more excitement and giving-up on his efforts to become closer to his son and ex-wife, Wallace sets out for a private adventure to a pro golf course where he was promised a shot at a better life. Carefully planning the steps, Wallace disappears after a camping trip on the beach. His long-time girlfriend, Mina Crawley (Anne Heche) and son are the two who end-up missing Wallace the most and comfort each other with memories and nights of sharing his home together.

Wallace begins a $10,000 new identity "Arhur J. Newman", a name he made-up when asked by a golf pro many years ago, with $20,00 in pocket cash. Early-on along the way, Wallace encounters a spit-fire of a woman who calls herself Mike (Golden Globe winner, Emily Blunt). They find that they have more in common than it originally appears and become steadfast lovers and friends who play a game of taking-on random couples' identities throughout their travels. Running away from pasts which they did not want to face, they conclude their journeys once it becomes evident that the right path was the one they were on all along before they met.

"Arthur Newman" is a story about two victims who are also survivors of life's challenges who decide to run away and start anew as two different people. Emily Blunt and Colin Firth are brilliant. The storyline, not so much. The plot line of "Arthur Newman" a is as sketchy as the lead characters' identities.

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9/10
Thoughtful but slow
atomiccomandant25 June 2019
This movie is slow but not boring. The performances by the 2 leads were fantastic with such an understated script. This is not a road movie nor is it a quirky romance. The best comparison i could make would be sort of on par with lost in translation but with a bit of the romantic relationship explored. The ending was not what i would have hoped for.

Many other reviewers here have stated that the whole fake death and leaving your life behind trope is stale and not well implemented, I disagree. If you do not understand the need to abandon everything and everyone just to feel like yourself whoever you decide that is then count yourself lucky. This isnt a film to relate to as much as observe. If you can get in the head of either of these characters that may not be a good sign.

So overall I did truly enjoy this movie on many levels. Sometimes all you want to do is let go.
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2/10
Dreary and dull
SquirePM1 June 2019
It's slow, the dialog is often mumbled, there is simulated sex but no nudity and the talent of the two stars, Colin Firth and Emily Blunt is wasted. They say their lines well, but you or I could have written the lines. There's nothing to them. Even the moments (rare) of revelation about the characters are dreary and dull. The great character actor M. Emmet Walsh is listed prominently in the cast, but he appears for only 1 minute in a dark room at the very beginning of this boring movie.
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8/10
Underrated
gavrav28 April 2019
Truly an underrated, understated little gem of a movie. A journey of self discovery told in a stylish understated way. Colin Firth and Emily Blunt are so natural and believable its as if they were born to play these roles. This movie hits the mark in every department. Deserving of a much higher rating.
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4/10
8 stars for the acting, but 2 for the story
MsLSimon25 January 2019
Warning: Spoilers
Not really sure what they were going for in this film, but it's certainly a lot to swallow. First, the story just doesn't make sense. If you used to be a successful golf pro, why would you need to fake your death and pretend to be somebody else to teach golf? Sure, his golf career went down the drain at the end, but why would that mean he can't teach golf. Those who can't, teach, right? You're more likely to get hired to teach as a failed player than inventing a new person with no experience whatsoever. Was he surprised to learn that Google existed? There are so many reasons the writer could have come with for this guy to reinvent himself, so I'm not sure why she chose golf. Second, it's hard to like a main character that would abandon his child. I don't care how unhappy you are, this is a life you created. Then it seems especially cruel to have people think that you're missing. It's hard enough to lose someone you love, but not knowing whether they're dead or not is torturous. What kind of a person would do that? Emily Blunt's character is also far from likable with her extreme swings in personality. Both actors do their best to try to get us to like and relate to these two people, but it's just too big of a task that even these two A-listers can't deliver. At the end, I just felt like there was some potential for something interesting that just didn't deliver.
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8/10
Really Got to Me
punchup4 October 2018
Not sure why exactly, but the plight of the two main characters hit a nerve for me. No, I'm not a paranoid schizophrenic, but someone who can understand alienation from one's own life. I can understand how we sometimes run away from the hard facts of life, but also how we can sometimes soldier through, maybe even find love or the ability to connect with someone else feeling the same things. These are two strong actors and a good director telling a somewhat ethereal story, but suspension of the need for a rigorous plotline will serve the viewer well in this case. For that is exactly what this movie is about; getting off the treadmill and going on a journey, destination unknown. Yes, the path sometimes meanders. It's what we do when we are young, and forget about as life wears us down.
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