Bloom

"Bad"

Bloom Review


This latest attempt to translate James Joyce's Ulysses to cinema (the first attempt was Joseph Strick's misfire back in 1967) again goes to show that literature is a completely different and often incompatible art form. Joyce's novel is a virtuoso of language, rich in melodic temperament, lewdness, profundity, metaphor and Homeric references. It elevates the mundane events of a single day in the life of three Dubliners to something epic; but shown onscreen it reduces Joyce's handiwork to simply portraying mundane events.

A Jewish everyman, Leopold Bloom (Stephen Rea) wakes up on the morning of June 16, 1904, goes through his day running various errands, nearly gets into a fight with a one-eyed drunken citizen (Patrick Bergin), has a few earthy encounters with women on the beach and whores in the brothel, doesn't think about his wife (Angeline Ball) cheating on him that afternoon, and becomes a father figure to a young artist (Hugh O'Conor), whom he saves from getting into trouble with Dublin riff-raff.

Those events might have been made into a credible movie if director Sean Walsh made bold and experimental cinematic choices to reflect Joyce's bold and experimental literary ones; but Bloom is a tepid and dull affair shot on video and looking very much like a made-for-television PBS exercise. The score is flowery and forgettable; the images flat and unenergetic. The performances are credible, but it's mostly actors wandering around while Joyce's dialogue floats around them in voice-over.

The only section that takes on any dramatic force is the infamous, hallucinogenic Nighttown sequence, where Bloom takes on various guises (male, female, regal, peasant) and drifts in and out of a surrealistic courtroom. It's a more lively section of Bloom, but nothing you haven't already seen Bugs Bunny tackle. And indeed, some of those WB cartoons have more to do with Ulysses than this Bloom does -- they bend time and space and are afloat in reference points. They're also more for the common people, something I believe Walsh aspires to. But he only succeeds in simplifying Ulysses, not extracting meaning or emotion from it. He's sucked the blood from the tone and left us the stone.



Facts and Figures

Run time: 113 mins

In Theaters: Friday 16th April 2004

Distributed by: Arts Magic

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 1.5 / 5

IMDB: 5.5 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer:

Starring: Marcus Bradford as Disc Jockey, Chris Caulier as David Davis, Christopher Clarke as X Braylon Foster III, Elias Heartnet as Dez Dimmer, Beverly Jaret as Nicole Tennyson, Dominic Lee as Ferret Fernandez, Brady Moore as Brad Howard, Megan Porter as Haley Franklin

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

Contactmusic 2017 Exclusive

New Movies

Life Movie Review

Life Movie Review

Like a mash-up of Alien and Gravity, this ripping sci-fi horror movie is very effective...

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

Based on a true story, it's the historical aspect of these events that holds the...

Chips Movie Review

Chips Movie Review

It's clear from the very start that this movie has little to do with the...

Beauty And The Beast Movie Review

Beauty And The Beast Movie Review

This remake of Disney's 1991 classic is remarkably faithful, using present-day digital animation effects to...

The Salesman Movie Review

The Salesman Movie Review

Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi won his second Oscar with this astute drama which, like 2011's...

Get Out Movie Review

Get Out Movie Review

Leave it to a comedian to make one of the scariest movies in recent memory....

Personal Shopper Movie Review

Personal Shopper Movie Review

After winning a series of major awards for her role in Olivier Assayas' Clouds of...

Advertisement
Certain Women Movie Review

Certain Women Movie Review

In films like Wendy and Lucy and Meek's Cutoff, writer-director Kelly Reichardt has told sharply...

Kong: Skull Island Movie Review

Kong: Skull Island Movie Review

After the success of 2014's Godzilla reboot, the Warner Bros monsters get their own franchise,...

Viceroy's House Movie Review

Viceroy's House Movie Review

Filmmaker Gurinder Chada (Bend It Like Beckham) draws on her own family history to explore...

Trespass Against Us Movie Review

Trespass Against Us Movie Review

With an extra dose of attitude and energy, this Irish comedy-drama hits us like a...

Logan Movie Review

Logan Movie Review

Hugh Jackman returns to his signature role one last time (so he says), reuniting with...

Patriots Day Movie Review

Patriots Day Movie Review

The third time's a charm for Mark Wahlberg and director Peter Berg, who previously teamed...

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

It's no surprise that this creep-out horror thriller is packed with whizzy visual invention, since...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.