Arthur Newman (film)

Arthur Newman (stylized as Arthur & Mike in the United Kingdom[1]) is a 2012 American dramatic comedy film directed by Dante Ariola and starring Colin Firth and Emily Blunt. Written by Becky Johnston, the film is about a former professional golfer who fakes his own death and assumes a new identity in order to escape his life of failure. On his way to a new job in the Midwest, he is joined by a troubled young woman who is also trying to escape from her past. The film was released theatrically in the United States on April 26, 2013.

Arthur Newman
Arthur Newman film.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byDante Ariola
Screenplay byBecky Johnston
Produced by
CinematographyEduard Grau
Edited byOlivier Bugge Coutte
Music byNick Urata
Distributed byCinedigm Entertainment
Release date
  • September 10, 2012 (2012-09-10) (TIFF)
  • April 26, 2013 (2013-04-26) (US)
Running time
93 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
Box office$207,853[2][3]


Former pro golfer Wallace Avery (Colin Firth) is struggling with boredom, depression, and a life from which he longs to escape. Trapped in an unfulfilling FedEx floor manager job in Florida, he finds little comfort in his failed first marriage or his current relationship with his girlfriend Mina (Anne Heche). He has even become estranged from his teenage son Kevin (Lucas Hedges) who has come to resent him. Driven to desperate measures, Wallace decides that he needs a new life.

Faking his own death by drowning, he acquires a forged passport and a new identity—that of a golf pro named "Arthur Newman". Leaving Florida behind, "Arthur" heads out for Terre Haute, Indiana to start a new job as a resident golf pro at a club. Along the way, he meets a beautiful but troubled young thief. He takes her to the hospital after finding her slumped beside his motel swimming pool from a near-lethal dose of morphine-infused cough syrup. The young woman, Charlotte Fitzgerald (Emily Blunt), is also traveling under a false identity—that of her paranoid schizophrenic twin sister, Michaela, nicknamed "Mike"—and has fled her home in Durham, North Carolina.

Arthur and Mike become traveling companions and eventual lovers on their way to Indiana. Mike thinks up a game in which they spot interesting-looking couples, break into their homes, dress up in their clothes and pretend to be them. Unbeknownst to Arthur, Mike collects souvenirs/prize possessions after each game. Meantime, Kevin initiates an unlikely friendship with his father's former girlfriend Mina. Together they struggle to understand the man who skipped out of their lives.

At this point in time, both Mike and Arthur have only been physically intimate as the identities they have undertaken throughout their travels together. It is apparent that Arthur has quickly fallen in love with Mike. Despite being physically intimate with each other, Mike and Arthur continues to sleep in separate beds, but they carry highly personal conversations as their true selves—Charlotte and Wallace.

Before Arthur and Mike reach Terre Haute, Indiana, Arthur asks Mike to stay in Terre Haute with him as they live their new lives together. Mike seems distressed over Arthur's proposal. It was later revealed that Charlotte was afraid of ending up like her sister and mother who are both paranoid-schizophrenic. Arthur then comforts her. They hold hands.

Later on, both Mike and Arthur dress up as they reach Terre Haute Country Club to meet Chuck Willoughby—the owner of the golf course who promised Arthur a job which gave him the idea to leave his old life behind. Chuck begins praising Arthur's golf skills and flips the table around. After searching online, Chuck realizes there is no golf-pro named "Arthur Newman". He threatens to call the cops on Arthur and Mike. However, Chuck decides to laugh it off and walks away with his friends. Arthur and Mike return to their motel room.

The next morning, Arthur wakes up. He goes straight to his drawers and realizes his money was gone. He decides not to vacate the room because he has nothing to look forward to. He then hangs a "Do Not Disturb" sign on the door. Arthur is then met with a knock on the door, inviting him down to the police station because Mike was caught. Arthur then discovers Mike's souvenirs/prize possessions. Mike is then released from the station. They began recounting the John Doe who convulsed and died at the bus station where Arthur first tried to send Mike away. Arthur handed John Doe's wallet to Mike, revealing his name was Beauregard Tully, who lived in Newport News, Virginia, drove a truck to Walmart, was diabetic, went to Alcoholic Anonymous (AA), had 2 kids (John and Matt), had a Wife, Rosita and they were married for 23 years. Arthur and Mike drove down to visit Rosita to reveal the news and to return Beauregard's belongings.

Eventually, the role-playing games that Arthur and Mike have engaged in lose their appeal, revealing two hearts that have been hurt by life's challenges. The two are forced to take another look at themselves and the lives they've left behind. Arthur decided to return home to reconnect with his son, and decides that Mike needs to return to her sister. After Mike thinks things through, she decides to return to the room. The morning after, Wallace drives Charlotte to her hometown of Durham, so she can look after her schizophrenic twin sister—Mike. As he prepares to leave, they kissed and he assures her that he knows where he can find her. Wallace then drives back to his hometown in Florida to reconnect with his son.


  • Colin Firth as Arthur Newman/Wallace Avery, Kevin's father
  • Emily Blunt as Michaela Fitzgerald/Charlotte Fitzgerald
  • Anne Heche as Mina Crawley, Wallace's girlfriend
  • Sterling Beaumon as Grant
  • Autumn Dial as Charyl
  • David Andrews as Fred Willoughby
  • Nicole LaLiberte as Silverlake
  • Sharon Conley as Unemployment Official
  • Steve Coulter as Owen Hadley
  • Peter Jurasik as Bus Driver
  • Michael Beasley as Terre Haute Policeman
  • Dean Chekvala as Silverlake/ Echo Park Hipster Artsy Bohemian Guy
  • Lucas Hedges as Kevin Avery, Wallace's son
  • M. Emmet Walsh as Zazek
  • Anthony Reynolds as Park Ranger
  • Lemuel Heida as Golf Cart Driver
  • Phillip Troy Linger as Fuller Wells
  • Jason Benjamin as Officer Clark
  • James Patrick Freetly as Cart Rental Man 2
  • Bonnie Johnson as Ticket Agent
  • L. Warren Young as Sheriff Johnson
  • Devon Woods as Janie
  • Jack Landry as Doctor
  • Gray Hawks as Diving Dad
  • Tammy Arnold as Nurse
  • Matthew Warzel as Motel Clerk
  • Randy Grazio as ER Doctor
  • Holden Hansen as Dying Man
  • Ron Prather as Terre Haute Detective
  • Natalia Volkodaeva as Ludmila Hadley
  • Luing Andrews as Body Guard 1
  • Jason Hatfield as Pug Man


Filming took place in North Carolina including Raleigh, Durham, Graham, Wilmington, and Fairmont in 2011.[4][5]


The film has received mixed reviews. At Metacritic, it has a weighted average score of 42 out of 100 based on reviews from 23 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[6] At Rotten Tomatoes it has a 20% rating based on 49 reviews.[7]


  1. ^ a b
  2. ^ "Arthur Newman". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved July 31, 2013.
  3. ^
  4. ^ "'Arthur Newman' Trailer, Poster, Release Date Revealed". Outer Banks Entertainment. Retrieved July 31, 2013.
  5. ^ Dukes, Brian (May 6, 2013). "Fairmont on the big screen with the release of 'Arthur Newman'". Fay Observer. Retrieved July 31, 2013.
  6. ^ "Arthur Newman Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved June 13, 2018.
  7. ^ "Critic Reviews for Arthur Newman". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved June 13, 2018.

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