‘Lord Of The Rings’ star Elijah Wood plays an American poet and literary critic in ‘Set Fire to the Stars’.
Set in the 1950’s, it’s a biopic about Welsh poet and writer Dylan Thomas and first American reading tour.
In his later life, Thomas acquired a reputation, as a "roistering, drunken and doomed poet". He died prematurely at the age of 39.
Welsh actor Celyn Jones, who plays the lead character, also co-wrote the screenplay: “Well, he didn’t know it was the end of his career. He didn’t know he was going to die three years later. But it was a very significant part of his career because he was very poor, he needed to support his family and he had to go to America for the first time,” said Jones at the film’s London premiere.
Shot in black and white, ‘Set Fire to the Stars’ is the big-screen debut of British TV director Andy Goddard.
Coinciding with celebrations marking the 100th anniversary of Dylan Thomas’ birth, it focuses on the turbulent and moving relationship between the famous Welsh poet and his tour agent, played by Elijah Wood.
“I didn’t have any prior knowledge of who Dylan Thomas was. I knew that he was a significant literary figure and an incredible writer, but I didn’t know who he was, so I didn’t have a bias in terms of reading it,” said Wood in London. “And the characters kind of jumped off the page and it was this really electric, vibrant piece that moved about these two characters who kind of come together in an unlikely scenario.”
The film opened to mixed reviews at the Edinburgh film festival earlier this year. Described as "superficial and polished" by one critic, ‘Set fire to the Stars’ fails to "form a sustained emotional connection with the viewer" according to another, though both Elijah Wood and Celyn Jones received praise for their "truly electric performances".
‘Set Fire to the Stars’ is out in early November in the UK and Ireland.