A young, ambitious professor tries to tame fire when Dylan Thomas accepts his invitation to tour America. Elijah Wood is the academic and Celyn Jones the poet in the monochrome New York of 1950. Their battle rests on the response to poetry: Lit Crit certainty vs unchained emotion. It compels, but what the film is made memorable by a supporting cast who include Shirley Henderson, Kevin Eldon and Kelly Reilly.
Such smart casting bodes well for Andy Goddard, who creates a visually rich, emotionally solid work for his first feature. A score by Gruff Rhys of Super Furry Animals is a further sign of a director aware that great filmmaking derives from inspired collaboration.