Written and directed by Michael Almereyda, this film is a dramedy with a postmodern take on the biographical film as it presents the life of Nikola Tesla (Ethan Hawke) by meshing period film elements with modern-day cultural references. The story revolves around the “war of the currents” that took place in the 19th century between the aloof inventor Tesla and the brash businessman-inventor Thomas Edison (Kyle MacLachlan). Jim Gaffigan plays George Westinghouse and Rebecca Dayan appears as Sarah Bernhardt while Eve Hewson portrays J.P. Morgan’s daughter Anne.~Olivia Cantor
Tesla is an okay movie. I mean its done in Michael Almereyda's signature experimental style, and the acting from Hawke and Machlachlan is great, however I wasn't as into it as I was Almereyda's other biographical work: Experimenter. I just knew more about Stanley Milgram compared to Nikola Tesla. So long story short if you know more about the subject you will enjoy the film more than I did.
This was not the style of movie I was expecting, though to be fair we just picked it up in store without researching anything about it ahead of time. There was a narrator and several scenes looked like they were filmed in front of a backdrop, both gave me the feeling of watching a film clip in a museum. I think The Current War was more entertaining.
Difficult to follow story line. Very dark and slowly developing. Could have been more technical highlighting his technological excellence. Correct in portrayal of Edison as a very difficult man. Tesla was a antisocial genius ahead of his time.
Fascinating era and character. I don't think it explores as much as it could about Telsa or the myths surrounding him but it stays fairly grounded (no pun intended) and is a nice pairing with The Current War. Also stars Bono's daughter Eve Hewson which is neat for this U2 fan. I don't think this portrayal surpasses Bowie's Tesla in The Prestige but it's still good as more of a realistic biopic.