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Hamptons International Film Festival

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A good review came out of the Hamptons:

Having had the good fortune of being a part of both the "Lord of the Rings" and the "Pirates of the Caribbean" franchises, Orlando Bloom’s films have taken in billions of dollars at the box office.

Bloom, though, never became the breakout star he was supposed to be, always taking backseat to bigger stars like Viggo Mortensen and Johnny Depp. Part of the reason for his might be that Bloom was never really convincing as a swashbuckling pirate, or as a heroic elf. He simply did not have the personality to be a convincing leader of men, and his performances suffered for it.

Now that Bloom has finally begun moving away from fantasy epics, and toward more realistic and dramatic fair, he has to prove that he has the skill to be a leading man. If his latest film, “The Good Doctor,” is any indication, Bloom has definitely proven that he has the ability to carry a film on his own.

As Martin Blake, a new doctor who begins to develop an unwholesome obsession with a teenage patient, Bloom has at last found a role that suits his personality and acting style. In fact, he gives what could be the best performance of his career. Martin is shy and awkward, two traits that play to Bloom’s strengths.

The film also benefits from a great supporting cast, with Riley Keough as the patient who is the object of Martin’s affection, and Taraji Henson (“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”) as a burned out nurse. A highlight of the film is Michael Peña (“Observe and Report”) who has a major role as an unprofessional orderly whose relationship with Martin drives the third act of the movie.

Unfortunately, while the movie is full of great performances, the plot does not live up to the acting. The film begins to strain credibility as it goes on, with Martin exhibiting sudden changes in personality and taking actions that seem out of character. For example, crucial third act development that is supposed to create conflict and suspense simply doesn’t hold up to close scrutiny. A major problem with the film is that very little of Martin’s life is revealed. While this is probably meant to create an air of mystery, it instead serves only to make the character extremely difficult to understand. If the film had established more of a background for the character, it would have undoubtedly helped make his actions seem more credible.

“The Good Doctor” proves that Bloom is able to give a great performance with the right role, and this film could be a turning point for his career, which has faltered since his successful franchises have come to an end. Hopefully the next movie he does will serve him better than this one did.

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