The Aspern Papers is yet another Henry James’ novella adaptation. Lord knows that we’ve had enough of the Henry James expanded cinematic universe. Well, after Turning of the Screw: Infinity War, we’re knee deep into heavy Aspern action. This time editor Morton Vint is having to make sense of recent discoveries about the poet Jeffrey Aspern.
As it turns out, Aspern took a lover and she’s willing to talk. Faster than you can say 19h century styled emotional turmoil, we’re learning a lot about love. Jonathan Rhys-Meyers is serviceable as the lead, but the film belongs to Vanessa Redgrave.
Cohen puts together these stunning packages that rival Criterion, but with never having the same killer catalogue of titles. I appreciate people that beat out a path that is uniquely their own. That being said, I could’ve stood to have something more to go along with the film.
So, I took my sweet ass time and read the original novella. Let me be clear here. The film is 90 times better than the novel. What was dry and flat gets an emotional truth in being brought to film. Now if we could just get post credits scenes in these films.