The Passion Of Ayn Rand

  • 1999
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Biography, Drama, Romance

Told in flashbacks, this literary biopic concludes that Rand reinvented herself after fleeing from Russia and then promoted a philosophical brand of selfishness that didn't quite yield the benefits she'd anticipated. Psychologist Nathaniel (Eric Stolz) and his spouse Barbara (Julie Delpy) become so spellbound by their favorite authoress that they agree to...read more

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Reviewed by Robert Pardi
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Told in flashbacks, this literary biopic concludes that Rand reinvented herself after fleeing from Russia and then promoted a philosophical brand of selfishness that didn't quite yield the benefits she'd anticipated. Psychologist Nathaniel (Eric Stolz) and his spouse Barbara (Julie Delpy) become so spellbound by their favorite authoress that they agree to live life according to her dictums. Despite her own marriage to gentle alcoholic Frank (Peter Fonda), Rand becomes obsessed with Nathaniel. Begging both Frank and Barbara for permission, she plunges into an affair with Nathaniel. Although their romance enables Rand to finish writing Atlas Shrugged, it shames Nathaniel who responds by cheating on both mistress and wife with a patient. For her part, Barbara regrets having married Nathaniel and feels frustrated by Ayn's emotional rigidity. Can Barbara find the courage to walk out? What will happen to Nathaniel after enraged Rand discovers he's a shrugging Atlas, indeed? Those who admire Rand's prodigious fiction, if not her dubious politics of self-actualization, will be disappointed by the lack of erotic heat generated by Mirren and Stoltz. If only they'd exemplified the reckless abandon of Rand's own Howard Roarke and Dominique Fanchon! To her credit, Mirren effectively captures the clipped elegance and self-protective bravado of a cosmopolitan poseur who bullied her acolytes. What she doesn't do is move beyond striking caricature. The ideas flow freely, but that titular passion never erupts in this Cliff Notes biography of a literary monstre sacre.

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  • Released: 1999
  • Rating: NR
  • Review: Told in flashbacks, this literary biopic concludes that Rand reinvented herself after fleeing from Russia and then promoted a philosophical brand of selfishness that didn't quite yield the benefits she'd anticipated. Psychologist Nathaniel (Eric Stolz) and… (more)

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