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Caryn James

Femme Fatale Meets Literary Lion: Nicole Kidman And Clive Owen in "Hemingway and Gellhorn"

  • By Caryn James
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  • May 28, 2012 9:00 AM
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Three of Ernest Hemingway’s four wives were maternal or authority figures. There was Hadley, the starter wife, gentle but nearly eight years older than the young Hemingway. Then the boyish-figured Pauline came along, took charge and led him away -- willingly, but still. Wife number four, white-haired Mary, was the ultimate maternal caregiver for the older, lionized writer. But wife number three was a whole other story, as we see in Philip Kaufman’s sometimes dazzling, sometimes cliched HBO film Hemingway and Gellhorn. War correspondent and femme fatale, Martha Gellhorn was the only Hemingway wife who could match his daring and ambition, who could challenge his fame, who viewed him level-eyed as an equal. The relationship was destined to flame out as soon as her independence and growing reputation threatened his control.

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