Kevin Kline, Ashley Judd, Jonathon Price and a gaggle of musical
Directed by: Irwin Winkler
Music by: Cole Porter
speaking? De-Lovely is a delightfully theatrical film that
appears to have captured that creative flair, and the finest of
details, needed to properly unfold composer and lyricist's Cole
Porter's remarkable tale. It's a a work of art, in the medium
of film, with an almost dreamlike vision. It's almost as if we've
fallen into a portal hidden among the floodlights.
Kline, who plays Porter, always engulfs his character and creates
breathing persona - but here, with the bones of a true legend
to dress, often devilishly flamboyant, Kev allowed Cole's subtle
confusions, insatiable appetite for a lime hued shine from an
overhead light, and artistically inbred tantrums to boil just
above the surface of an already brilliant performance.
story begins in the twilight of Cole Porter's (Kevin Kline) days.
He's watching his lifestory unfold as an elaborate stage play,
cast with his friends and conquests, weaving in and out of life-set
vignettes of truths and shadows of events, all while his own music
accents the work; supplying both lyrical tidbits and helping along
narration. Cole's guide (Jonathan Pryce) keeps his ego in check
and his memory from indulging the candy-coated version he's prefer
to tell. It's a helluva yarn
watch as Cole meets Linda (Ashley Judd), the woman who would bring
him from the soirees of the elite into the homes of the world
by helping him to market himself and offer him unconditional love.
And he'd need it. His appetite for life could have swallowed him.
We watch as his now-infamous plays and songs come to life, and
his life's song plays out.
Irving Berlin, err, Irwin Winkler takes Jay Cock's screenplay,
and orchestrates wonderfully theatrical semi-vignettes, with few
dramatic dollops, creating a delectable undercurrent of surreal
frivolity that would have made Cole himself smile. It's terribly
honest, yet refreshingly fair.
not just the incredible array of performers gathered to lend voice
to Porter's timeless ditties (like Alanis Morrisette, Robbie Williams,
Natalie Cole, Elvis Costello) but someone was bright enough to
get Kevin Kline to be Cole Porter. And indeed it is Kevin Kline's
show as he makes another man's life his own.
But, Ashley Judd too does a phenomenal job, reminding us why it
is she keeps getting films
after that poodle poo of a filmatic
fiasco Twisted she needed something
as strong as this to regain the respect she deserves - she even
sings for your pleasure
though the other Judd's hard to compete
with - her passion and willingness to just be-in-the-take shined
aside Kline's varied vocals.
to see this stylish ode to a musical maestro, a singular human,
who continues to influence music today - and a film that stands
on its own just as an interesting tale if, godfabid, you haven't
the slightest idea who Cole Porter was
you will after this.
recommendation: A multi-layered Crème parfait, fluffed
with brandied cherries, served atop a naked cabana steward of
a respectable age to be disrespected.