Bloom | Chicago Reader


Adapting James Joyce's Ulysses to the screen seems like a fool's errand, likely to result in a sort of cinematic Cliffs Notes. But even without the book's grand Homeric analogy and clutter of literary allusion, this 2003 feature still has the benefit of Joyce's lilting prose, amply exploited as interior monologue and on-screen narration. Stephen Rea makes a fine Leopold Bloom and Angeline Ball is appropriately saucy as his beloved Molly, though Hugh O'Conor barely registers as Stephen Dedalus. Writer-director Sean Walsh presents the story as literally as possible until the hallucinatory “Circe” episode, which is played for surreal laughs and reminded me less of the Odyssey than The Monkees. 110 min.

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