War correspondent. American novelist. Travel Writer. Martha Ellis Gellhorn was more than just the third wife of Ernest Hemingway or as she so succinctly put it, “I’m not a footnote in someone else’s life.”
In Hemingway and Gellhorn, Nicole Kidman delivers an outstanding performance as the feisty journalist who first meets the legendary author (Clive Owen) while on a family holiday in Key West. There is instant chemistry and they agree to travel to Spain to cover the Spanish Civil War. As correspondent for Collier’s Weekly, Gellhorn later reports from Germany, Finland, and Asia.
I was fascinated by Gellhorn’s writing journey. At first, she is unable to write and marvels at Hemingway’s ability to crank out pages while standing up with his typewriter on the dresser. Later, Hemingway chides Gellhorn for staying in bed until noon, admitting he had been writing since 6:00 a.m. After making several rookie mistakes, Gellhorn hits her stride and achieves her own success.
Their relationship was a tempestuous one, exacerbated by Gellhorn’s long absences during her reporting assignments. While Hemingway admired her intellect, he wanted a wife in his bed. Interestingly enough, Gellhorn was not keen on marriage and she was the one who initiated divorce proceedings.
While I enjoyed the movie, I was not impressed with some of the retouched scenes. Director Philip Kaufman treated some of the front line drama with a sepia tint, creating a newsreel effect. I would have preferred the full colored images.
A must-see movie, especially for Hemingway fans.