Friday, January 26, 2007

De-Lightful, De-Licious, It's ..........

"De-Lovely" was this week's movie from Netflix. Unsurprisingly, critics disagreed with each other, with reviews ranging from:

"De-lousy" by Marahl Dargis in the Los Angeles Times,

to

"-----a work of art, in the medium of film, an almost dreamlike vision----", by Emily Blunt in the Blunt Review,

to

"A most unusual Biopic about a most unconventional and lovely story" by Jeffrey Bruner, of the Des Moines Register.

But, the majority of the critics agree that Kevin Kline was brilliant in his portrayal of Cole Porter.

The Biopic deals with Cole Porter's bisexuality and his wife's (Ashley Judd) acceptance of it. Apparently, Porter didn't do anything to hide his preferences. In fact, he was pretty open about it all. Some biographers seem to think his wife was also bisexual, although there is no indication that she became involved with anyone but Porter.

It was a hedonistic existence, in an era called the Jazz Age. People went in frantic pursuit of fun and anything that would make them "feel good". And, the music of the Roaring 20's mirrored that quest.

Cole Porter wrote songs for Broadway and, later, the movies, but, if this Biopic is any indication, his first love was Broadway. And, like other songwriters of the 20's and 30's he was very prolific. In 1927 there were 268 plays on Broadway (compared with only 50-60 in the 1970s).

The music world boasted such greats as the Gershwins, Irving Berlin, and Rodgers and Hammerstein, with their lighthearted melodies and clever lyrics. At the same time, the world of literature featured the more serious efforts of T.S. Eliot, William Faulkner, Ernest Hemingway and Eugene O'Neill.

Looking back from the prospective of one who was born much later, it seems to me to be a rather schizophrenic era in this country. You could spend the afternoon reading "The Sound and the Fury" and then put on your glad rags and go to a dance club and hear "Anything Goes".

All in all, it was a pretty good movie, with an unusually theatrical treatment.

Next: "Munich".

12 comments:

Joy Des Jardins said...

I saw De-Lovely a while ago Betty, and I really enjoyed it. I thought Kevin did a great job...and I love the music of that era. I didn't know if it was a totally accurate portrayal of Cole Porter, but I though it was pretty true to him.

SongBird said...

I love the music from that era. Such fun to sing!!

her indoors said...

thanks good read learnt a thing or two, i know i have asked this before so please excuse me, but what is Netflix?

Alan G said...

Thanks for the review Betty....

Almost always watch movies about musicians, especially when biographical in nature. I will definitely have to watch it.

mjd said...

Thanks for the review, I will put De-Lovely on my list of movies to see. I have visited your blog before this, but this my first time commenting.

I have similar feelings about Saddam Hussein and the hanging that you spoke about in your last entry. Furthermore, you made some astute observations about the State of the Union, but then, I am biased too.

Betty said...

her indoors: You can order movies from Netflix and they send you the DVD in the mail. When you've watched the movie, you just send it back, and they send you the next selection on your list. There are various plans you can choose from. For various prices, of course. But, I watch about four movies a month, so I get my money's worth and don't have to bother with going to the theater.
For more ino, go to Netflix.com

MJD: Welcome. I have read your blog, too. Thanks for commenting.

Alan: I thing you'll enjoy this movie. It's not your ordinary musical/biopic.

Songbird: If I could sing, I'd sing them, too.

claude said...

I haven't seen it and will borrow it if I get a chance. Thanks for the review

gawilli said...

I have not seen De-Lovely, but it sounds good. Kevin Kline has been one of my favorite actors and this seems to be another good role for him.

her indoors said...

thank you for explaining

Newt said...

I enjoyed DeLovely. I'm a huge fan of both the main stars in this film. And we just watched the much more sugar coated version with Cary Grant - "Night and Day". Cole Porter had a wonderful gift.

John said...

I like a good 'biopic' and I enjoyed this one. BTW Did you know that Cole Porter served in the French Foreign Legion during WW1 ? I wonder why it wasn't mentioned in the movie ?

Betty said...

John: No, I didn't know that. But, it sounds just like him. I wonder, too, why it wasn't mentioned.