Set Fire to the Stars


Action / Biography / Drama

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Rotten 55%
IMDb Rating 5.7 10 1186


Uploaded By: OTTO
Downloaded 119,911 times
March 11, 2015 at 07:22 AM



Shirley Henderson as Shirley
Elijah Wood as John M. Brinnin
Kelly Reilly as Caitlin
720p 1080p
757.82 MB
24.000 fps
1hr 37 min
P/S 3 / 2
1.45 GB
24.000 fps
1hr 37 min
P/S 4 / 7

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by stevelewis92 10 / 10


This film is the perfect example of why great writing, direction and performances will always be more important to creating great cinema than having oodles of cash and lavish visual effects. Shot in weeks not months, no one misses a beat in this story about an enigmatic, troubled genius. Wood and Jones are mesmerising as Brinnin and Thomas respectively and it's beautifully directed in black and white by Andy Goddard. Finally, a mention for Gruff Rhys whose haunting soundtrack perfectly augments a beautiful film. It amazes me that films like this have to fight to get made. One of the best films I've seen in the last few years. A must see whether a fan of Thomas or not.

Reviewed by The_Educator 10 / 10

A return to The Golden Age of Hollywood.

Having now watched this film twice I have to say that to me Set Fire To The Stars is a master class in classic film making, Hitchcock often referred to 'pure cinema' the art of story telling via the art of the composition of shots and the smooth editing used to translate the written word into a visual experience and this film truly achieves what Hitchcock discussed.

It takes me back to the classics of film, the films that originally drew my attention and focus into the importance of film as an art form and lead to my career aspirations of sharing the joy and experience I had felt into the minds of the young and impressionable generations of the future. I have been a lecturer in Film Studies for 15 years.

The relationship between Thomas and Brinnin is just so beautifully created it almost feels as though one is part of this close and personal journey they shared. The relationship that develops through the film almost brought me to tears on more than one occasion while watching the film (if not for being a true 'Yorkshire man' then I think I could have shed a tear or two) The pain and frustration that Brinnin feels towards Thomas can be truly felt by the viewer, in one moment their relationship is so perfectly created only for the next scene to totally destroy Brinnin's 'love' for Thomas – pride that almost immediately becomes embarrassment, joy that turns swiftly to sadness – can only be said to be breath taking.

The performances of both Celyn and Elijah are at the height of what one would expect from the classics of Hollywood in its Golden Age, I do have to say that Celyn outshines on more than one occasion - which are the moments that made me feel extremely emotional, a man on the edge who was so lost in excess that I felt extreme sorrow for the character and those around him.

The composition of the shots is without doubt awe inspiring; I did not find one shot that jolted me from this visual feast. I get great delight from films that are obviously so cinematic, sadly something that is missing from so many contemporary films and what distinguishes a film from a movie. The scenes that stood out the most to me are the lake scene, the café scene (which was perfectly composed), the chess game and the woodland – just perfect.

Reviewed by lady924642003 9 / 10

A beautifully scripted and photographed piece of cinema

At times my poetic prowess reaches as far as "One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish." Most prose filled literature bounce over my head, but I'm not totally blind to the verse language.

There are a number of movies that have come along to awaken my vernacular intellect. Adaptations of Shakespearean works such as Hamlet, Much Ado About Nothing, Richard III and Othello. Modern films like The Remains of the Day, Six Degrees of Separation, Agnes of God, Inglourious Basterds, even the romantic comedy Roxanne have dialog that's swept from a Broadway stage dripping with idyllic narratives. I can now add Set Fire to the Stars on this list.

My first impression of the semi-autobiographical film of Welsh poet Dylan Thomas' first visit to America by the hands of John Malcolm Brinnin took me to a place where I thought I should be marveling at the actors and sets in a stage play. The lines that leap from the screenplay makes me grateful to be a fan of films such as this. Every now and then one comes along that utilizes speech in a way that makes it masterful.

My second impression instantly made me revel at the glossy black and white cinematography. It's punchier, brighter and crisper than any monochrome 1950s movie I've seen. I can't get that image of New York City's skyline with falling snowflakes out of my head. It reminded me a snow-globe in which the city glowed and shimmered like the energetic place it is.

Other than the stark imagery, the performances are just as captivating. It's both difficult and entrancing to watch Celyn Jones bring the poet to life. To see someone recklessly destroy himself as well as those around him should make one appalled. When Dylan is stripped from New York City and taken to John's quiet country home, it's sort of like caging a wild lion. In the DVD outtake he says to John, "It's like a Presbyterian wake." Dylan does get loose and has a unique way of alluring people to him. He also has a knack of alienating them. It's not due to his celebrity, but his inclination with words and brash demeanor. Celyn as Thomas is a being who is poetry in motion. He's both devil and angel, moral and corrupt, bitter and sweet, tears and laughter.

Elijah Wood is suited well in this period piece with the look of a classic actor from the era in which the film is set. As opposed to Dylan, there's not much known about John Brinnin. However, the way Elijah portrays the Harvard scholar, he makes us believe the literary critic to be reserved but holds a powerful status. We struggle with John every step of the way as he wants to be a colleague and advocate but instead is diminished to a caretaker and scapegoat. Despite all this John is still an admirer. In one scene he watches Thomas recite his poem "And Death Shall Have No Dominion" to the Yale big wigs. Dylan fumbles at first then settles in. The camera closes in on John and you can feel the admiration in his eyes while the others show little sign of validation. Elijah delivers in this film just as eloquently as Celyn.

Together, Elijah and Celyn poured themselves into these men and brought a precarious relationship to the screen. One is loose while the other restrained. John pushed Dylan as much as Dylan pushed John. The two were like oil and vinegar but when mixed properly, they delivered a savory retort. There was a bit of a montage of them working intently on their upcoming engagement at Yale. I would have loved to witness more of that collaboration and listened how they discussed, agreed and bickered. It was a quiet battle between them and when all seemed good, one did something to destroyed what they had working.

The supporting cast is great composed of Shirley and Stanley, a married couple who live near Brinnin's lake home, coming in to have a wild evening of drinking and story-telling. Rosie, a spunky little waitress in a diner and Jack, John's adversary from Yale who wants to see John fail knowing the attitude of Thomas. One of the stronger scenes is the apparition of Dylan's wife Caitlin. Throughout the movie there is a letter from her that Dylan refuses to open. It scares him to do so and that bothers John deeply.

When Caitlin appears to Dylan, she speaks and taunts him with her poetry on why he left her and their children and why he had to. This exchange arouses Dylan to behave in the manner John has been wanting him to act since they met. John is now upset by what Dylan's wife may have written and says, "What did that woman say? What did she say that awoke you from your dream? I need to know. What is it she can scribble down in her violent, cheap-hand that eclipses my entire being?" After they struggle about, Dylan brings the movie to its purpose. "Don't open a book." he says. "Open a window," explaining to John life is in right front of him.

It's hard to believe they shot this film in 18 days. One would think it took months to complete if not for the dialog alone. Not knowing Thomas' work, it doesn't bother me that his poems are not recited in their entirety. I'm glad in fact. As I said, most poems need to rhyme for me to understand them, but just enough of them are spoken to help the screenplay along. But if you're aching to hear them, they are recited by Celyn in the DVD extras.

If this were to be in the running at the Oscars, I could see Set Fire to the Stars getting a nod for cinematography and screenplay. Celyn Jones and writer/director Andy Goddard penned a beautifully scripted and photographed piece of cinema.

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