The tagline for "Arthur Newman" reads: "If you don’t have a life, get someone else’s." That advice is fully embraced by Wallace Avery (Oscar-winner Colin Firth) who buys a new identity and stages a fake death to escape from his deeply unsatisfying existence.
On his road to reinvention as Arthur Newman, golf pro, Avery encounters Michaela (Emily Blunt), an emotionally ragged woman. She’s also on a journey, but her destination is undefined, just "away."
The film is a smart, honest and thoughtful - if dysfunctional - road-film-cum-buddy-movie with a touch of romance. It is far deeper and more intriguing than the trailer (one of only two bonus features on the Blu-ray + DVD Combo Pack) would have you expect.
Both Firth and Blunt are excellent at playing damaged goods. He’s mildly good-looking but can easily fade into the woodwork. She projects a wounded wariness under her bad-girl veneer. The combination of their vulnerabilities should sink them, or it just might be the key to saving each other.
Also in the film are Anne Heche, in a nice emotionally ambiguous and understated performance as Avery’s abandoned girlfriend, and Lucas Hedges as the long-estranged son who only becomes interested in his father’s life once he thinks it is over.
The other bonus item in the set is a pleasant but run-of-the-mill "Making of" featurette with cast and other creatives delivering the usual platitudes about how highly they think of each other and the project. The package design will make the release easy to overlook, using an exceedingly generic scene of Blunt and Firth looking off in the distance rather than the far more intriguing one-sheet from the theatrical release.
Blu-ray & DVD Combo Pack?