TIFF 2012: Colin Firth's Arthur Newman Is a Dud

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Colin Firth and Emily Blunt star in Arthur Newman.
  • Colin Firth and Emily Blunt star in Arthur Newman.

Arthur Newman doesn't really know who he wants to be. Unfortunately, neither does the movie of the same name.

Wallace Avery is a loser—a south Florida would-be golfer whose marriage has failed and career has stalled. So Avery, played by a badly miscast Colin Firth, decides to fake his own death and become Arthur Newman. Along the way, Newman meets another lost soul, played by Emily Blunt, whose identity is also in question.

But Arthur Newman—the movie, not the man—is in desperate need of better direction. First-time director Dante Ariola seems lost with what should be a good plotline and two of cinema's finest actors.

"I have a very long relationship with Torono," said Firth. "I always come here with a spring in my step."

With good reason: Firth's last visit was to promote The King's Speech in September 2010, prior to it receiving world acclaim and an Oscar.

"I think there's a good mix of movies at this year's festival," said Blunt.

She should know. She co-starred in TIFF's opener, Looper.

"I've gotten to see some great movies," she said.

So have I. Looper was one of them. Arthur Newman wasn't.