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The Railway Man has been receiving mixed reviews after screening at the Toronto International Film Festival.
It's another case of excellent acting and good overall story, but the movie is "dull as ditchwater," and suffers in execution, according to Variety's Peter Debruge.
He also calls the movie an "overly stodgy true story," though admits it could be a "dark horse" for awards season.
The movie focuses on Eric Lomax (Colin Firth), who is a "railway enthusiast," even though he was forced to work on Thailand's "Death Railway" during World War II as a prisoner. He still loves railways, but suffers from nightmares about what he saw happen.
The movie focuses on Lomax as he is trying to cope in silence and jumps back in time to show the torture he went through in a Japanese POW camp.
The Telegraphs's Tim Robey says that both Firth and Nichole Kidman (who plays Lomax's wife) are excellent, but the movie suffers from "starchiness." It is "polished and diagrammatic, with a slightly nervous degree of dutiful prestige."
Jeremy Irvine (War Horse) plays the younger version of Lomax and is "the film's freshest component: he's touching and credible, with a surprisingly deft line in impersonating a young Firth."
Composer David Hirschfelder's score "conveys more emotion than anything onscreen," according to The Hollywood Reporter's David Rooney. This sentiment has been echoed in several other reviews.
Yet, the movie received a standing ovation and tears among the audience at the festival.
The film is due out later this year in Australia, Spain, and the U.K., but no U.S. release date has been announced.