Movie Reviews



Starring: Kevin Kline, Ashley Judd, Jonathon Price and a gaggle of musical talents...
Directed by: Irwin Winkler
Music by: Cole Porter

Bluntly 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.

Kevin 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.

Our 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…

We 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.

Director 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 "looking-back-through-rose-colored-glasses" memoir-style frivolity that would have made Cole himself smile. It's terribly honest, yet refreshingly fair.

It's 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.

Run 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. Buy it

Snack recommendation: A multi-layered Crème parfait, fluffed with brandied cherries, served atop a naked cabana steward of a respectable age to be disrespected.

The Emilyism©






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