Picks and Pans Review: The Libertine

UPDATED 01/23/2006 at 01:00 AM EST Originally published 01/23/2006 at 01:00 AM EST

Johnny Depp, Samantha Morton, Rosamund Pike, John Malkovich
DRAMA

Was ever there a movie star who took such palpable delight in playing dress-up as Johnny Depp? He's at it again in Libertine, prancing about in the rococo powdered wig, ruffled silk shirt and silver-tipped walking stick of a 17th century English gentleman. If only this wan, convoluted biographical drama were worthy of his stylin' outfits and obvious enthusiasm for portraying an intellectually gifted, self-destructive aristocrat.

Depp brings his usual physical panache and sly humor to the role of John Wilmot, the scandalous second Earl of Rochester. Wilmot (1647-1680) was known for his military exploits, pornographic scribblings and prodigious wenching. In Libertine Wilmot devotes himself to transforming a drab actress (Morton) into the toast of the London stage. Along the way he alienates his loving wife (Pike), his religious mother (Francesca Annis) and King Charles II (Malkovich), all before dying an agonizing death from syphilis (allowing Depp to don a fake silver nose after the earl's own honker rots off). Despite impassioned performances by Depp and Pike, and an amused one by Malkovich, little in Libertine holds one's attention for long. (R)

bgwhite    



Your Reaction

Follow Us

On Newsstands Now

Robin Roberts: How Loved Saved Me
  • Robin Roberts: How Loved Saved Me
  • Emma and Andrew: All About Hollywood's Cutest Couple
  • Prince George! More Yummy Photos

Pick up your copy on newsstands

Click here for instant access to the Digital Magazine

Advertisement

From Our Partners

Watch It

Editors' Picks

From Our Partners



Sign up for our daily newsletter and other special offers.
    Choose your newsletters
Thank you for signing up! Your request may take up to one week to be processed.
    see all newsletters