Papa Hemingway in Cuba (2016)

by | Oct 29, 2016 | DVD & Blu-ray Video Reviews

A fine film biopic of Hemingway in Havana.

Papa Hemingway in Cuba (2016)

Cast: Giovanni Ribisi, Joely Richardson, Minka Kelly, Adrian Sparks
Studio: 20th Century Fox (10/25/16)
Video: 2.40:1 or 16:9 screens, color
Audio: English & Spanish DD 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Extras: Theatrical trailer, Previews of other films
Length: 110 min.
Rating: ****

This is an excellent biopic in the life of literary legend Ernest Hemingway. It’s based on a true story. Young Miami journalist and aspiring writer Denne Bart Petitclerc
(who is Ed Myers in the film) has his girlfriend send a letter to Hemingway about his idolization of him, a letter which he had not brought himself to send. He gets a phone call from Hemingway who invites him to his home in Havana, and a fascinating and unexpected friendship develops. Hemingway introduces the young reporter to deep-sea fishing, drinking, and finding his literary voice. He sees Batista soldiers hunting down rebels in the streets. The Cuban Revolution is beginning, and one scene has Hemingway and his young friend hurriedly throwing arms for the rebels overboard as a coast guard cutter with Batista people approaches them to board the boat and search for arms. The pointing toward Hemingway’s suicide 18 months later is also shown.

Both Giovani Ribisi as the young journalist and Adrian Sparks as Hemingway do great acting jobs, and this is the very first American movie to be filmed in Cuba in 50 years. The part of Hemingway’s last wife is also excellent. Havana almost stars in the film and all the lovely old perfectly-restored American cars. The film provides an extraordinary glimpse into the life of a uniquely American writer and celebrity. It did not do well at the box office, but is well worth viewing.

—John Sunier

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