Monday, July 19, 2010

Monday Matinee - "De-Lovely"

This week I bring you a film from 2004 spanning through time and fashion from 1918 to 1964.

De-Lovely is a biopic about the late great composer, Cole Porter. If you think you have never heard a Cole Porter tune then think again. He is responsible for writing some of the most beloved and used songs in the world. His work is constantly being re-used and slipped back into popular culture (i.e. the big musical number in the movie "Tank Girl" features the Porter classic "Let's Do It").

I had been meaning to see the film for a while and I finally sat down and gave it the time it deserved, boy am I glad I did. I have always been a huge musical theater nerd, having been in shows since I was 7. One of my favorite shows to be in is actually "Anything Goes" which is indeed a Porter creation. The film itself is completely lavish. The sets, the costumes, the is one of those modern films that transports you back to the golden age of Hollywood royalty. I found myself instantly captivated as soon as the film began, eventually singing along to all the songs and crying my eyes out during the weepy bits.
Not only does the film show you the private lives of Cole and his wife Linda, it also gives you glimpses of Hollywood, Broadway, chorus girls and society life throughout the years.

The plot of the film:
In the final moments of Porter's life, it flashes before him in the form of a musical production staged by the archangel Gabriel in the Indiana theater where the composer first performed on stage. From the start, Linda is aware of Cole's gay feelings, but her love for and devotion to him are strong enough for her to overlook his romantic flings outside their marriage. After a while, she can no longer ignore the innuendos in his songs and their relationship grows strained. Cole is photographed in an amorous embrace with another man in the rest room of a gay nightclub, and both he and Linda are blackmailed into paying a heavy settlement to suppress publication of the pictures. When he shrugs off the blackmail, she finally goes to Paris, leaving him bereft. Not until he is injured in a horseback riding accident that seriously cripples him does she return to his side, willing to forgive but still finding it difficult to cope with his extramarital affairs. Eventually she is diagnosed with emphysema, and as she prepares herself and her husband for her impending death, she attempts to forge a relationship between him and her interior decorator so he'll have a companion following her death, which deeply affects him. The eventual amputation of his right leg adds to his deep depression, affecting his creative output.Porter becomes increasingly reclusive, as well as becoming more dependent on alcohol.

Find out more about Cole Porter HERE

The film also boasts vocal cameos from many of todays current talents including Elvis Costello, Alanis Morissette, Robbie Williams and Sheryl Crow just to name a few.

Some film stills:

1 comment:

  1. I've been meaning to see this film for AGES. I love Cole Porter.
    -Andi x