“Arthur Newman” - Grade B
Colin Firth has the uncanny ability to play both king and commoner with the same compassion, dignity and reverence. Whether it was his lovesick efforts in “Love Actually” or his frustration in “A King’s Speech,” Firth showed it’s heart that makes for a great performer. His heart-filled work is plentiful in “Arthur Newman.”
Firth plays Wallace Avery, a failure as a husband, father, professional golfer and FedEx employee. He decides his life is so awful, he fakes his death and starts over as Arthur Newman. This transformation might have worked had he not met a person equally as damaged in Charlotte (Emily Blunt). As if drawn together by the failings in their lives, the pair take to the road on a journey of discovery.
“Arthur Newman” was filmed across North Carolina in the fall of 2011 – including several days of filming in Raleigh and Durham – and premiered at the 2012 Toronto Film Festival. It was given a limited theatrical release across the U.S. in April of this year.
The film is an emotional road trip that ends as interestingly as it starts. The outstanding performances by Firth and Blunt make this emotional quest well worth the ride.