Pandaemonium (2000)

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Director: Julien Temple

Writer: Frank Cottrell Boyce

Cast: Linus Roache, John Hannah, Samantha Morton, Emily Woof, Emma Fielding, Samuel West, Andy Serkis

Synopsis: In this biographical tale about the lives of late-18th-century poets Samuel Taylor Coleridge (Linus Roache) and William Wordsworth (John Hannah), director Julien Temple and screenwriter Frank Cottrell Boyce come together to present an intriguing, dramatic, historical ode to two remarkable writers. Between political rallies, poetry parties, and other chaotic gatherings, Coleridge and his wife Sara (Samantha Morton) share an amusing, critical, intellectual, flirtatious friendship with Wordsworth and his sister, Dorothy (Emily Woof).

Coleridge's opium habit plays a big part, as many of the scenes seem to drift and change with a dreamlike lucidity. While Coleridge gathers all who will follow to live in the country in what is meant to be a small bohemian utopia, Wordsworth enjoys his literary popularity. But when Dorothy begins to dote on Coleridge, Wordsworth's response is jealous and jaded, causing the beginning of the end of the friendship between the two poets. If not entirely accurate historically, Pandaemonium as a period piece is supremely entertaining, combining slick visuals with a saucy story - to fascinating effect.


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