Rent Head Full of Honey (2018)

2.1 of 5 from 71 ratings
2h 8min
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A widower (Nick Nolte) grows increasingly frustrated as Alzheimer's starts to claim the memories of his loved ones. He soon embarks on a remarkable journey when his young granddaughter (Sophia Lane Nolte) takes him to Venice, Italy - the city where he met his beloved wife.
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Til Schweiger, Christian Specht
Hilly Martinek, Til Schweiger, Lo Malinke, Jojo Moyes
Action & Adventure, Comedy, Drama
A Brief History of Old Age on Screen: Part 1, A Brief History of Film..., Top 10 European Remakes, Top 10 Films Set in Venice
Release Date:
Run Time:
128 minutes
English Audio Description Dolby Digital 5.1, English Dolby Digital 5.1, Polish Dolby Digital 5.1
English, English Hard of Hearing, Polish
DVD Regions:
Region 2
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 2.39:1

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Critic review

Head Full of Honey review by Mark McPherson - Cinema Paradiso

Some films just have their heart in the right place while their brains are far off in the distance. Head Full of Honey is one of those films and all-too-fitting for the easy insult the title generates. It’s a film that wants to say something about the connections of generations and the assessment of Alzheimer's disease but stumbles all over itself for more drama than anything meaningful past an abstract of sensitivity for the mentally degraded.

Nick Nolte plays Amadeus, a widowed grandfather afflicted with Alzheimer’s. He struggles with his disease in trying to maintain memory and often grows bitter and frustrated about his twilight years being ones he can’t fully remember. His 10-year-old granddaughter, Tilda (Sophia Lane Nolte), seeing he is in pain, decides to take him on a trip to Venice to help recapture the memories of his late wife. They first met in Venice and perhaps Amadeus can find that love once more.

As a remake of the German picture of the same name, which wasn’t very good to begin with, this is a picture that makes all the wrong calls. Scenes meant to be enduring and comical all come off as inappropriate and even offensive in a few scene. Take for example the scene where Amadeus speaks at his wife’s funeral where he not only forgets she’s dead but talks about her boobs and pie. Amadeus’s other quirky activities of losing his mind include setting fires to kitchens and doing gardening with a chainsaw. It’s in these scenes that the eyebrows start to raise higher and higher question whether this film is going more for comedy or drama. Because it certainly isn’t hitting anywhere near that sincere sweet spot it was most likely hoping for.

This is a film that trivializes dementia to such a disgusting degree of absurdy. And for what? What are we supposed to take away from its over-the-top performance by Nolte? Should we be laughing at this character? Do we feel sorry for him? Are we meant to feel the anguish of the grandfather’s children who simply can’t deal with him? What is the point to any of this? There’s a very easy joke about such a film having Alzheimer’s but that’s just sinking to this picture’s level, a spot at the bottom of the barrel where nobody wants to be.

Similar to Big City Little Indian, this is a remake that was a product almost entirely of the notoriety for the box office draw. The original picture was a financial success and thus this English version followed, gussied up with a hollow Hollywood sensibility of making the funny scenes too funny and the melodrama less meaningful. It’s an empty remake in far more than mere straying from the source.

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