“Like all projects based around the lives of actual human beings, the Dylan Thomas biopic Set Fire the Stars has to contend with the problem of dramatizing reality. “This happened,” the biopic tells us, but savvy viewers know that even the best biopics tend to dress up the truth. It’s refreshing, then, to see a biopic likeSet Fire to the Stars, which relies on sensation and mood to studiously avoid the temptations of glamour. The film comes courtesy of Andy Goddard, a Welsh-born filmmaker with a flair for the unsettling. Set Fire to the Starsis an ostensible dramatization of the time Thomas spent in America on a reading tour arranged by poet and literary critic John M. Brinnin; by the end, though, it approaches the borders of nightmarish surrealism.” (Via Movie Mezzanine.)
Do we think that’s nightmarish surrealism in a good way or nightmarish surrealism in a bad way?
In an interesting way. It’s a bit overwrought but it layers the movie with unexpected, chilling atmosphere, which I appreciate just because it breaks convention.