The New York Times movie reviewer A.O. Scott has slammed Irish actor Jamie Dornan and his portrayal of dominant billionaire Christian Grey in “Fifty Shades of Grey,” which he describes as “A terrible movie.”
Dornan “elicits pity” for his performance and “resembles a lego piece” for all the emotion he musters, Scott writes
“Mr. Dornan, given the job of inspiring lust, fascination and also maybe a tiny, thrilling frisson of fear, succeeds mainly in eliciting pity. In print, Christian is a blur and a blank — a screen onto which any given reader can project a customized masculine ideal. On the screen, he risks becoming just some guy, which is how Mr. Dornan plays him, without mischief or mystery.
“There are actors who might have given Christian a jolt of naughty, bossy life, most of them creatures of an earlier movie era. Cary Grant. William Powell. Paul Newman. Sean Connery if you wanted the roughness a little closer to the surface. Jamie Bell was a convincing dominant in Lars von Trier’s 'Nymphomaniac: Volume II,' though his character was more artisan than aristocrat.
"Mr. Dornan has the bland effect of a model, by which I mean a figure made of balsa wood or Lego."
The movie has already achieved $60 million in advance sales,, according to Fandango as it opens Valentine’s weekend. The book has sold over 100 million copies.
A.O. Scott says Christian’s character is barely believable.
“Christian has a lot of psychic baggage, but for most of this installment in the 'Fifty Shades' trilogy, it’s obscured by his physical stuff. In the tradition of Leonardo DiCaprio’s Jay Gatsby, James Franco’s Alien (from “Spring Breakers”) and Kanye West’s Kanye West, this young mogul (played by Jamie Dornan) treats luxury consumption as an erotic passion and a spiritual calling. He has his own helicopter, which he pilots himself; an underground garage full of cars with a chauffeur to drive them; a penthouse apartment with a grand piano; and a walk-in closet so big that his suits hang without even touching.”