Flash of Genius
- Paul Dale
- 19 March 2009
The little man returns to take on The Man in this solid and moving account of much sinned against inventor Bob Kearns’ attempts to be recognised for his most famous invention.
Detroit, Michigan, 1964 and Irish American college lecturer and part time inventor Bob Kearns (Greg Kinnear) has invented and patented a device that allows windscreen wipers to be time spaced. Living with his large family in the then most successful car manufacturing city in the world, it’s not long before Ford comes knocking. But do these corporate devils have Kearns and his brood’s best interests at heart?
Taking its place next to Coppola’s 1988 Tucker: The Man and His Dream in a slim canon of films about the evils of the Big Three US automobile manufacturers, Flash of Genius is a decent investigation of corporate greed and appropriation and the genius of invention.
With very good period detail and excellent performances from all involved Flash of Genius is undone by producer-turned-director Marc Abraham’s frequently sloppy direction and cinematographer Dante Spinotti’s unnecessary experiments in soft focus. Philip Railsback lengthy, indulgent script (based on a newspaper article by John Seabrook) could also have done with having bolt cutters taken to it.
General release from Fri 27 Mar.