My review of De-lovely

Discussion in 'Movies' started by StevenFC, Jun 15, 2004.

  1. StevenFC

    StevenFC Second Unit

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2003
    Messages:
    481
    Likes Received:
    0
    Having a chance to see a movie about someone that I only know as an icon is something that I always relish. In this case it's an icon of American music that is revealed--flaws and all. Everyone that knows about Cole Porter's music, knows that he was a giant in his field. No less than Irving Berlin was a great admirer of Porter's talent. In fact Berlin was instrumental in Porter's career.

    It's a shame that their friendship was not explored in this film. The reason for that is that this is not a movie about Cole Porter's music, but about the one that inspired his music. Although it does make clear his homosexuality, it mostly serves as a plot device to show just how much he loved his wife Linda--despite Cole's roving eye that caused a less than ideal marriage. It never really explores whether or not he loved any of the men in his life.

    The chemistry between Kevin Kline as Cole and Ashley Judd as Linda is nothing less than sublime. The interaction between the two takes you right into the movie and never feels forced. I wouldn't be surprised to see Kline nominated for an Oscar. it's some of his finest work. And a nomination for Judd wouldn't be a shock. It's a shame she doesn't take more roles like this instead of the woman done wrong kind of dreck she seems typecast in. She really is a talented actress.

    Many of the things that are revealed in this film are left for the viewer to infer from a side glance or a somewhat cryptic statement. This movie rarely hits you over the head with a clear unfettered statement. THese scenes worked for me, although some may be left trying to figure out what was just said.

    As for the feel of the movie, I would invite you to think All That Jazz. The way it's told mostly works. It is clever to be sure. But it is a little jolting at times and can tend to leave the viewer a little confused. I won't go into more detail about it. It's best to let you discover it for yourself. The music scenes at times tend to distract from the flow of the film just a little bit. I think that may be because this is a drama about a man's life with music, as opposed to a straightforward musical.

    The music however is top-notch, and I suppose you can't really expect a movie about Cole Porter to not feature his music prominently. Except for the unfortunate "singing" of Elvis Costello, every performance is first-rate. Especially Sheryl Crow's version of Begin the Beguine. Beautiful.

    The look of the film is the soft-filtered look, with what I would call subdued colors. It of has sort of a jazz club feel to it.

    I won't go into more detail of the events of the film for those that aren't completely familiar with his life. Only to say that other events played a role in his life besides his affairs with men. De-lovely the movie takes a few historical facts to the woodshed for a good going over and leaves other parts of his life for others to make a movie about. It also is a little bit unusual in it's style. But I found all of these things to be secondary to the performances of the two leads in their portrayal of two people that despite their ups and downs, did after all have a love...forever true.

    Recommended.
     
  2. Peter Kline

    Peter Kline Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 1999
    Messages:
    2,393
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for the review Steve. Did anyone tell you that you're a dead ringer for Gene Kelly? (I'm sure they have!). [​IMG]
     
  3. Peter Kline

    Peter Kline Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 1999
    Messages:
    2,393
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for the review Steve. Did anyone tell you that you're a dead ringer for Gene Kelly? (I'm sure they have!). [​IMG]
     
  4. Mark Palermo

    Mark Palermo Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2000
    Messages:
    366
    Likes Received:
    0
    I caught this one at Cannes, and didn't much like it. The film has an annoying, repetitious Scene A, Scene B structure. In Scene A someone will say something to Porter or something will happen to him, and then in Scene B he'll have written a musical number about that experience. That's a silly distillation of both the creative process and an artist's life.

    I must confess to not being much of a Porter fan to start with, and De-Lovely exemplifies my feelings on his music: lots of spirit but not much soul.

    Mark
     
  5. Mark Palermo

    Mark Palermo Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2000
    Messages:
    366
    Likes Received:
    0
    I caught this one at Cannes, and didn't much like it. The film has an annoying, repetitious Scene A, Scene B structure. In Scene A someone will say something to Porter or something will happen to him, and then in Scene B he'll have written a musical number about that experience. That's a silly distillation of both the creative process and an artist's life.

    I must confess to not being much of a Porter fan to start with, and De-Lovely exemplifies my feelings on his music: lots of spirit but not much soul.

    Mark
     

Share This Page