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Porter's sense of discretion was not always sufficent for Linda, who left him several times and threatened divorce on at least one occasion. It was, however, enough "to get by" with the vast public, which saw only the glamour of their lives and the great brilliance of Porter's talents. The result was a 1946 film biography that put many of Porter's greatest songs before the camera while casting handsome Cary Grant as the waspish Porter and lovely Alexis Smith as the somewhat icy Linda--a movie that went over well with audiences but which actually had very little basis in reality.
The 2004 DE-LOVELY takes a considerably different tack. It would be hard to say that the film "tells all"--but it tells enough and it offers a host of high-art concepts and truly fine performances in the process. It debuted with tremendous fanfare and then, amazingly, seemed to vanish from the screen within a single night. While most critics liked the film, the public did not, and they were pretty emphatic about it.Read more ›
It brings back the sound of music so tender,
It brings back a night of tropical splendor,
It brings back a memory ever green."
When "De-Lovely" begins it is October 15, 1964 and Cole Porter (Kevin Kline) is about to die. This requires his life to flash before his eyes, but since we are talking Cole Porter this means there are all sorts of creative decisions involved in this final production. The conceit of the film is that Porter is sitting in the first theater that he visited while growing in Peru, Indiana, with "Gabe" (Jonathan Pryce) at his side. The result is not a musical but rather a musical biography, which is why we do not go back to Porter's childhood but rather to the moment that the gay songwriter met the love of his life, the divorcee Linda Lee (Ashley Judd), who would become his wife.
"And that's why birds do it, bees do it
Even educated fleas do it
Let's do it, let's fall in love."
Cole and Linda marry, equally aware of the strengths as well as the weaknesses of their relationship. Linda was more than a front of respectability for Cole's homosexuality; she was his muse. "De-Lovely" abandons the traditions of a bio-pic in terms of places and dates to focus more on the songs Cole Porter wrote. Kevin Kline is a piano player, and he uses this talent to great affect in the film. Cole is often sitting at the piano composing the music of his life and it compels us to listen again to the familiar lyrics, but this time in the context of his life. The recurring thought is not that he is writing all of these songs to reflect himself, but that there are times when the songs are clearly for her.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Fantastic acting, music and very cleverly delivered. Kevin Kline of course shines as does Ashley Judd.Published 4 days ago by Nicholas
Hard to get into at first, but stay with it it does get better.Published 4 days ago by Lynne Villers
I loved this movie, the music is awesome. Kevin Kline does such a fine job as does Ashley Judd. I loved their story, and it made me want to read and learn more about them.Published 6 days ago by Faye Nordquist
The acting was great by both leading actors and do enjoy the Cole Porter arrangements/music.Published 8 days ago by Brandy
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