"A stunning performance:" THE LIBERTINE, starring Johnny Depp, opens in the United Kingdom

Laurence Dunmore’s THE LIBERTINE, nominated for 8 British Independent Film Awards, opened today in the United Kingdom. Johnny Depp earned glowing reviews for his performance as the Restoration poet and roue John Wilmot, 2nd earl of Rochester. Here is a small sampling–you can read the full reviews on the Zone’s News and Views forum:

From Clare Pollard, Channel 4 Film: “In Laurence Dunmore’s THE LIBERTINE, Johnny Depp gives a stunning performance as a man who does not feel alive unless he exceeds every limit. [. . .] He is, if not likeable, then utterly mesmerising. [. . .]It is a measure of the film’s achievement that even as the Earl turns outcast and monster, hiding his disfigured face from society, it is impossible to take your eyes off him.”

From Tim Evans at sky.movies: “[A] marvellous script from playwright Stephen Jeffreys [. . . is]relished with a swagger and a sneer by Depp in a philandering performance that’s pretty much faultless. [. . .I]t’s Depp as the firebrand who burns out all too soon that makes this one of the unsung pleasures of the year.”

From Wendy Ide, The Times: “The story deals with the life of the notoriously depraved Earl who scandalised Restoration-era critics and goaded King Charles II (played here by an appropriately urbane John Malkovich) with pornographic satires of life at court, obscene verse and much roistering, carousing and wenching. Depp is terrific in the role, with a rock star’s lip- curled arrogance and a sexually predatory swagger.”

From Hannah McGill, The Herald: “[THE LIBERTINE] is clever, dirty and sad all at the same time, which is a combination all too rare in the pretty world of conventional English costume drama; and its characters burn with conviction. Johnny Depp has the time of his life as the throbbingly priapic Earl [. . .], but his supporting cast more than match him. The ladies themselves are terrific, especially the exquisite Rosamund Pike as the Earl’s long-suffering wife, and the increasingly impressive young Kelly Reilly as the streetwise prostitute who adores him in spite of herself. Like its hero, this is a gorgeous, dirty, intriguing mess of a thing, distinctly disreputable but well worth rolling around with.”

The Zone thanks emma for the reviews, and In-too-Depp for the lovely screencap from a UK interview. You can see a larger version of the screencap HERE. Zone members can find a selection of In-too-Depp’s screencaps on our Recent Pics forum, and a new extended trailer and several new interviews from the UK promotion for THE LIBERTINE on our Video Clips forum, as well as a clip from the AFI tribute. Thanks to emma, bonnie, Theresa, Intodadepps, and SavvyDeppWench for the new clips!

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