Anyone seen this film? It was released last year or maybe even longer ago to very mixed and lukewarm reviews. I had looked forward to it because it featured Kevin Kline, who I think is so talented but the reviews dissuaded me. By luck, it just came up on cable in my area and I saw it a couple weeks ago.
I LOVE it!
I knew Porter's songs in a general way but I really didn't have an appreciation of them. I knew nothing about the man. Since that movie, there hasn't been a single day that I don't have one of his songs in my head. All day long. And I'm grateful for them. So clever! So drole! So plaintive.
Anyway, back to the movie. I thought KK and Ashley Judd (thought she was Charlize Theron throughout the film and I can't think of a more flattering thing to say) were flawless. The staging was clever and seamless. The musical performances were outstanding and Sheryl Crowe gives one that I had no idea she was capable of. I don't know if the music was presented faithfully chronologically but it moved the story through the progression of his complicated life from playful to sophisticated to moments of great complication, alienation and heartbreak in completely moving and convincing ways and it integrated with the narrative in a manner that was so light footed that the script and the musical numbers were like a hand in a glove. No small feat. In my experience, only the classic TV series Northern Exposure ever used music so powerfully as an adjunct to story.
Oh, and I cried like a baby. Sobbed. The first three times I saw it.
All in all, this movie is still with me weeks after I saw it and I look forward to seeing it again (luckily I've got it on Tivo) and again. ...which is my personal definition of a damned FINE piece of cinema. What the holy hell were those critics watching and are they devoid of souls?
If you get a chance, give it a whirl. _________________ God writes a lot of comedy... the trouble is, he's stuck with so many bad actors who don't know how to play funny. -- Garrison Keillor
Joined: 15 May 2006 Posts: 1 Location: Seville, Spain
Posted: Fri Jul 14, 2006 4:34 pm Post subject:
First of all I would like to say how happy I am that you have 'discovered' Cole Porter. I've been a Cole Porter fan for a very long time and consider his music pure genius. I also very much enjoyed the film, however, I felt it was a shame that it left out so much that could have made it better. It concentrated too much on one aspect of his fascinating life and the selection of songs in the film is only a very small handful of Porter's 1000+ song repertoire. How they could have left "I Get a Kick Out of You", "Too Darn Hot", "Always True to You (In My Fashion)" or "My Heart Belongs to Daddy" (etc, etc...) out is beyond me. But as an introduction to his songs it is very good.
If you liked the music the film offers listen to Ella Fitzgerald's "Cole Porter Song Book", the 1987 London Cast recording of "Anything Goes" (for far superior versions of the title song and "Blow, Gabriel, Blow" by Elaine Paige) or watch the Brent Barrett, Rachel York 2003 DVD of "Kiss Me Kate" (a personal favorite). _________________ that's the way it crumbles, cookie wise.
Yeah, I don't understand the critics take on tis fine, fine film either! And Alanis Morissette ( a local girl by the way, she beat out our son in a "battle of the bands" years ago before Jagged Little Pill propelled her into the stratosphere) like Crowe delivers something unexpected and wonderful.
Beyond the Sea was WAY better than my expectations, mind you I'm starting to think Spacey is a bit of a genius as well.
no more war, more good biopics (thanks simona) _________________ Vivant Linguae Mortuae!!
Joined: 29 Sep 2004 Posts: 2498 Location: Los Angeles, California, USA
Posted: Sat Jul 15, 2006 5:33 pm Post subject:
cookiewise- Thanks for those recommendations. I have a long drive (semi-alone*) up most of the length of California coming up and those recordings sound like the perfect sidekick! I look forward to learning more about someone whose mark on contemporary history is so firm 70 years later.
David- One of the things I just love about Canada is how the country supports it's artists (check out those animated films). We used to encounter highly talented bands and singers all over the place and it's not the least surprising how many of the most popular singers and bands in the US are now coming from Canada.
How exciting for your son to be one and how exciting to have been in a competition with Alanis Morissette! Is he still playing?
PS The silly and provocative things I pick up I, mostly, get from BoingBoing.com (which I've often recommended) and SlashFood.com which is an eclectic site about all things food. This morning BoingBoing is featuring coat hooks that look like darts embedded in the wall (but I couldn't open that link). Besides the silly they cover developments in technology and other issues. It's called a "directory of wonderful things" and I think that's a fairly earned classification.
* Heads up, Donna. We're headed up sometime soon in a convoy so that Rach can keep her small pickup up there and I can transport her worldly goods in some sort of secure fashion. If you've got any time or interest, let me know and I'll supply any details that emerge. Lillia, if you've interest it would be wonderful to explore that amazing coincidence we've just discovered. I'm guessing I'll be there a few days helping her get situated. _________________ God writes a lot of comedy... the trouble is, he's stuck with so many bad actors who don't know how to play funny. -- Garrison Keillor
Last edited by Rainey on Sat Jul 15, 2006 8:33 pm; edited 1 time in total
Alas, poor Brad never quite made it in the music industry, the closest he came to being a professional musician was being a DJ in strip clubs! Oh well that is where he met his wife and that led to us getting grandkids so I suppose it was all a good thing! _________________ Vivant Linguae Mortuae!!
Joined: 13 Nov 2004 Posts: 899 Location: Gold Coast Australia
Posted: Mon Jul 17, 2006 4:12 am Post subject:
Rainey - we recently watched DeLovely when it came up on cable having missed it at the Cinema. Bryan and I both enjoyed how it was presented and the way they brought current artisits into the movie to perform the songs. I can remember seeing another movie on Cole Porters life some years ago (in black and white) where his sexual preferences didn't feature at all. _________________ Barbara
Took my Mum to see it and we wound up seeing it twice - in one day...... I really enjoyed the way they had modern day artists playing the older artists. ... and the repertoire of some of them was amazing!!! Really took fabulous singers and put them into a totally new genre than what they would normally do.
I also had the songs going through my head for weeks. Even now just seeing the title in the forum had me singing the song and picturing the film.
Glad to see I am not alone. None of my friends in Sydney would see the movie with me as they thought it was "too old" and not interesting. Their loss! _________________ If you cannot feel your arteries hardening, eat more cheese. If you can, drink more red wine. Diet is just "die" with a "t" on the end. Exercise is walking into the kitchen.
Joined: 30 Sep 2004 Posts: 1654 Location: Penrith (where jacarandas remind me of change), New South Wales, Australia
Posted: Mon Jul 17, 2006 11:07 am Post subject:
how out of this loop do I feel!
Darlings..saw it ages ago...'n it just didn't do it for me..
as a pal of mine writes IMHO, Kevin didn't get there.....
I think of Porter's lyrics....'n I think of Kevin...and IMhO a no contest ~ for me it sort of skimmed the surface...
those lyrics...could faint at the thought of them....
still 'n all, am glad you all enjoyed the film....reminds me of diversity!
ahhhhhhhh "Night and Day" ~ the goosebumpy wonder of that song ~ well I'll be...a few tears coming...at the wonder of those lyrics... _________________ "I've never accepted the external appearance of things as the whole truth. The world is much more elaborate than the nerves of our eye can tell us." - James Gleeson
Joined: 29 Sep 2004 Posts: 2498 Location: Los Angeles, California, USA
Posted: Mon Jul 17, 2006 7:41 pm Post subject:
Sorry the magic didn't work for you (just 'cause it's so much fun when it does...). You're in the good company of the critics.
Meanwhile, we went out and stocked up on music this weekend me some Cole Porter including the Ella Fitzgerald recordings cookiewise recommended and Steve some jazz. _________________ God writes a lot of comedy... the trouble is, he's stuck with so many bad actors who don't know how to play funny. -- Garrison Keillor
Joined: 14 Oct 2005 Posts: 827 Location: Oakland, CA
Posted: Mon Jul 17, 2006 9:34 pm Post subject:
I loved it too! I had read all the bad reviews and in the end, went to see it because a) I ADORE Cole Porter's music and always have and b) I think Kevin Spacey is an amazing actor.
I saw it as a slice of life - not his whole life - all the ways he could be good or bad with everyone in his life, just one piece. So in that regard, it workd for me!
I must confess to being not very discriminating sometimes about movies. If I am entertained for a couple of hours I'm usually happy. Only rarely do I come away in a critical frame of mind. We watched "Shopgirl" (Steve Martin & Claire Danes) this weekend and I sat through it, but I kept thinking about how many things I could be doing besides watching this movie. Interestingly, I enjoyed the book and didn't find the movie too different - no real digressions from the book - but it was more enjoyable to me to read the book than see the movie. the movie made me think of watching someone sleep. _________________ L'appetit vient en mangeant. -Rabelais
Posted: Fri Jul 21, 2006 1:35 am Post subject: Delovely style of life....
It always amazes me to witness the universe in constant motion to bring about experiences such as Delovely!
Tonight, I just needed to take a break from everything; did the mini spa thing and discovered once again Delovely was on cable and immediately turned to it since it marks the 10th time I've emotionally invested in this extraordinary film! Funny enough, I wanted to do a research via google on Delovely's breathtaking places/locations selected in Italy and Paris - And what did I find on the first hit of Google was Chocolate and Zucchini forum of postings from so many people who have been swept by this film as much as me!!!
Divine Order indeed since I am so so so so taken by Cole Porter but never knew the magnitude of his music especially with Cheryl Crowe's performance, his life (Kevin Kline) his wife Linda Porter (Ashely Judd), his love, the passion filled colors and the richness of this movie has in fact moved many even if the reviews were shaky(which was also my reason why I didn't invest in it until it came out on cable). I cried and continue to cry which became a source of healing for me.... The song "So In Love With You" for Kiss Me Kate is by far for me the most emotional song I have ever seen played out in film thus far.....Every song, literally every song the staging of each and every song is quite simply brilliant!!!....
Every component of this film is so magnificient that every reviewer that submitted a shaky review should be questioned for their obvious inability to accurately 'get-it' and let the movie sweep them with a life in full color... Every critic that 'did' this film an injustice needs to get another gig since they missed the mark on this film!
I am so very grateful to have stumbled across this site to read and share the same emotional impact this movie has played in so many hearts, as well as mine is truly a surprise blessing for me this evening....
I have to say my soul dances again because of this movie which has ignited wonderful dreams and beautiful dreams; which wasn't the case this past year after a devastating heartbreak with losing my mother a year ago due to an unfortunate tragic event.
Joined: 29 Sep 2004 Posts: 2498 Location: Los Angeles, California, USA
Posted: Sun Jul 23, 2006 3:02 am Post subject:
Mela- I am just returned from a couple days of long drive in which I listened to Cole Porter in the radio wasteland between LA and San Francisco. Armed with cookiewise's advice I picked up the Ella Fitzgerald recordings and one of the original recording of Kiss Me Kate to hear it the way Cole Porter did himself.
After listening to them all I am even more in admiration for the artists and the music director (the CD case is still in the car so I can't consult it) from De-Lovely. Though Ella Fitzgerald is awesome she and the big swing orchestra didn't even come close to plumbing the depths of human emotion that are in the lyrics and contemporary performances.
When you see how playful, witty, romantic, even erotic, despairing and intelligent he was you can understand why these songs speak to us now even 70 and 80 years later!
I wonder, honestly, if the same critics were to review the movie again, if they'd reach the same conclusions? I know the first time I saw Love Actually, I thought it was rambling and pointless. I didn't even finish watching it. Now, on subsequent viewings I think it's a wide-ranging and comprehensive essay on the human experience of "love". A huuuuuge undertaking easy to dismiss because of the lighthearted and quotidian approach they took to it. It's now one of my favs. _________________ God writes a lot of comedy... the trouble is, he's stuck with so many bad actors who don't know how to play funny. -- Garrison Keillor
Joined: 29 Sep 2004 Posts: 1196 Location: buried under a pile of books somewhere in Adelaide, South Australia
Posted: Sun Jul 23, 2006 7:38 am Post subject:
David, you mentioned 'Beyond the Sea', which I loved. We bought a DVD of it in Thailand at the start of last year, and today I was amazed to discover that it has finally made it to the big screen here in Oz, can't believe it's taken so long. _________________ Doing what you like is freedom
Liking what you do is happiness
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