Cast: Bradley Cooper, Zoe Saldana, Dennis Quaid, Jeremy Irons,
Director: Brian Klugman, Lee Sternthal
Bradley Cooper stars as a writer Rory Jansen in this melodramatic thriller, The Words.
Jansen's a down on his luck author; a real wannabe living the romantic dream of the ideal of the writer - he spends his nights writing and his days wandering the streets, with his beautiful and supportive girlfriend, Dora (Saldana).
But with rejection after rejection, Jansen's not having much luck getting published. However, that all changes when he honeymoons in Paris and is bought a suitcase by his new wife.
One night, hidden within the case, he discovers a battered manuscript and a story which keeps him up all through the small hours, as any good book should do.
Realising the potential of the story, and the fact it's never been published, Jansen toys with the idea of claiming it as his own. But, even though he transcribes it to his computer, he can't bring himself to steal another person's work.
That is until his wife discovers his book one day and urges him to submit it.
Suddenly, Rory is a literary sensation, a critical success and the writing world's hottest next big thing. But, that's when an old man (Jeremy Irons) catches up with him and reveals that he's the true author of the book....
So, here's a warning - there are some unfortunately necessary spoilers coming up for this - and if you don't want a couple of the twists revealed, then look away briefly.
The Words is a masterfully and sleekly put together piece of story telling, which is somewhat torpedoed by some of its intentions and narrative gaps.
Well acted by the cast, it's only as the layers begin to peel back that you start to appreciate why some of the narrative is clunky and laboured in parts; there's a framework of storytelling afoot that you're either totally on board with or in the camp that believes it's completely pretentious.
The film starts with Dennis Quaid's character, reading from a book called The Words and which appears to actually be the main story of the film - ie Rory and Dora's story - and then with the Old Man revealing his story to Rory, the team adds another layer to give it a story-within-a-story-within-a-story feel.
The end result is a slightly frustrating and confusing one; with Quaid's voiceover framing the narrative and intoning several story cliches, it begins to feel more laboured and is somewhat akin to reading a book with a great premise but which ultimately ends up letting you down.
All in all, The Words is slickly put together, polished, extremely frustrating but well acted ensemble piece which has the feel of an enigma but proffers up few resolutions and only more questions as the lights go up in the cinema. Like a good novel with an end that leaves you feeling disappointed after the initial premise, The Words will be lauded by some and scorned by others.