THE RAILWAY MAN

 Australia/UK - 2013
 

director.gif (905 bytes)Jonathan Teplitzki

CAST

Colin Firth - Eric Lomax
Nicole Kidman - Patricia Wallace
Stellan Skarsgård - Finlay
Jeremy Irvine - young Lomax


SCREENINGS:

Toronto In'tl Film Festival
Zurich Film Festival


THEATRICAL RELEASE:


Australia - December 26, 2013
USA - April 11, 2014

 

 

SYNOPSIS

"The Railway Man" is a true story adapted from Eric Lomax’s best-selling book. According to the official blurb, "Eric Lomax (Firth) was one of thousands of Allied prisoners of war forced to work on the construction of the Thai/Burma railway during World War II. Years later, still haunted by memories of brutality and torture, he met a beautiful woman on a train named Patti (Kidman), who was determined to rid Eric of his demons. With the help of a wartime colleague, she set up a mission back to the Bridge on the River Kwai where Eric would confront his tormentor, Nagase Takashi."
 


button_box.gif (205 bytes)PRESS CONFERENCE - APRIL 27, 2012
 

button_box.gif (205 bytes)PRODUCTION NOTES/PHOTOS:

Filming began in Scotland in early May 2012 with locations in Edinburgh and North Berwick in East Lothian. The cast and crew then moved to Thailand in late May and Queensland, Australia, in early June.

button_box.gif (205 bytes)MOVIE STILLS/POSTERS:

button_box.gif (205 bytes)STELLAN'S PERFORMANCE:

"Stellan Skarsgård, as Eric’s repressed war buddy, provides a stoic gravitas that makes you wish he’d been around to play a hardened skeptic in a few Ingmar Bergman films."  ...Chris Vognar, Dallas News

"Kidman's role along with Stellan Skarsgård's is rather small, but both characters serve as inspiration for Lomax and conduits into the telling of his story."  ...Brad Brevet, Ropeofsilicon.com

"A fine Stellan Skarsgård also appears in the pivotal role of Finlay, Lomax's best friend and fellow labor camp detainee (played in flashback by a strong Sam Reid), who crosses a line to help Patti better understand her husband's anguish."  ...Gary Goldstein, LA Times

"Firth, as a haunted man, is himself haunting, but Kidman and Stellan Skarsgård, as Lomax’s soldier friend, though both good, don’t have much to do. The juicier jobs go to Hiroyuki Sanada and Tanroh Ishida, as the older and younger versions of the main Japanese soldier, and they make the most of them."  ...Cameron Meier, Orlando Weekly

"Skarsgård brings gravitas to his fellow survivor role, and the younger players - Irvine, Reid and Ishida - acquit themselves nicely playing characters who are either dehumanized or dehumanizers."  ...Film critic Roger Moore

"There isn't a performance less than 100% real, not even in the extras who slave on the railway or sit in the veterans' club in England. As for the leads, it's a high wattage ensemble in which Firth and Kidman both disappear in their characters, as does Jeremy Irvine as the young Lomax and Stellan Skarsgård as a fellow POW."  ...Andrew L. Urban, Urban Cinefile

"Kidman makes a statement by her understatement, providing a rock solid motive upon which Eric must act. It is Stellan Skarsgård's Finlay, who lived through the angst-filled experiences with Eric, who becomes Patti's confidante and who ultimately delivers the message his friend cannot ignore. Skarsgård is most effective in the role."   ...Louise Keller, Urban Cinefile

"Despite solid performances by Colin Firth, Nicole Kidman and Stellan Skarsgård, and a handsome cinematic sheen burnishing the shocking, true-life tale of wartime torture and reconciliation, the film is less deeply affecting than merely admirable." ...Michael O'Sullivan, Washington Post

"As an early reference to 'Brief Encounter' suggests, this falls squarely in the British tradition of quality, but the cast is excellent, especially Stellan Skarsgård as a fellow survivor, and the screenplay, by Frank Cottrell Boyce and Andy Paterson, is delicately attuned to the emotional cost of war and the terrible struggle to be healed."  ...J.R. Jones, Chicago Reader

"Kidman’s sole function is to forge events into motion, neglecting Patricia a backstory or personality...  The other principal actors fare much better. Stellan Skarsgård offers solid, world-weary support as Lomax’s veteran friend, while Jeremy Irvine banishes all memory of his snoozy turn in 'War Horse' by delivering what could be the performance of the film, granting his own internalized display of anguish to his spot-on impersonation of Firth."  ...Brogan Morris, Movie Mezzanine

"Hiroyuki Sanada brings a skillfully nuanced performance to his role, given far more dramatic scope than Ishida. Stellan Skarsgård is effective as Lomax’s best friend and former army colleague, Finlay."   ...Don Groves, Film Journal International

"Colin Firth is dependably intense as Lomax and Nicole Kidman musters the proper concern as his new and devoted wife... Both actors are fine, as are Stellan Skarsgård as another British vet, whose accent is never explained, and Hiroyuki Sanada as the Japanese enemy."   ...Stephen Whitty, Newark Star Ledger

"In spite of an awkward structure, 'The Railway Man' is a small, sparkling gem. This is thanks to the engaging, emotionally wrenching true story of British World War II veteran and former prisoner of war Eric Lomax, whose autobiography is the film’s basis, and the performances by everyone in the film, from Academy Award-winning leads Colin Firth as Eric and Nicole Kidman as his wife Patti to Stellan  Skarsgård as Lomax’s best friend Finlay."   ...James Verniere, Boston Herald

"Firth's performance is top-notch - he portrays the damaged ex-soldier as hollowed-out yet still human and hopeful, as both broken and angry, as distant yet somehow sympathetic and ultimately likeable. Sanada as Takashi Nagase and Skarsgård are also excellent. Kidman gets the short straw with the least developed main character in the film but still performs admirably."  ...Matt Neal, The Standard