Loss Of A Teardrop Diamond
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Synopsis: The story of Fisher Willow, a Memphis débutante daughter of a plantation owner with a distaste for narrow-minded people and a penchant for shocking and insulting those around her. After returning from studies overseas, Fisher falls in love with Jimmy, the down-and-out son of an alcoholic father and an insane mother who works at a store on her family's plantation. She tries to pass him off as an upper-class suitor to appease the spinster aunt who controls her family's fortune, but when she loses a diamond, it places their tenuous relationship in further jeopardy.
ed on the long lost screenplay from celebrated playwright Tennessee Williams (A Streetcar Named Desire, The Glass Menagerie, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof)!
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It is fortunate that Williams' screenplay has been preserved and filmed. Those who love or are interested in Williams' writing will have this movie to see which otherwise would have been lost. It is unlikely that this screenplay will be filmed again in the foreseeable future, and this movie is a more than good --- in fact it is a fine rendition that does the script credit. The film was independently produced and the product of several years' effort. A young Jodie Markell directed the movie with Bryce Dallas Howard in the leading role of the young socialite, Fisher Willow, and Chris Evans playing the role of her escort, Jimmy Dobyne V, the grandson of a former state governor whose family has fallen on hard times. The film received mostly negative reviews when it was released in 2009 and did not play in many theaters. I think it will have staying power.
The movie is set in the Mississippi Delta in 1923 and was filmed entirely in Louisiana. The period settings are beautiful and convincing and include poor hardscrabble fields, lush mansions, and jazz clubs. The accompanying film score of jazz, pop, ragtime, and a bit of classical piano adds to the story and the setting. Both the leads could have brought more passion to their roles, but their characters and their stories come through. Supporting actress Ellyn Burnstein offers a highly dramatic, brief performance is an opium-addicted, dying elderly woman.
In the story, Fisher Willow is a highly wealthy, educated, independent young woman who is shunned by her society because of the reckless actions of her father and because of her own high spirits. She hires young Jimmy to be her escort at social events. Jimmy's father is an alcoholic and his mother is institutionalized. Fisher wants Jimmy to be more than her escort to parties, but he resists her advances. At a fashionable Halloween party, Fisher loses an expensive diamond earring. The loss of the teardrop diamond becomes the occasion for Fisher and Jimmy to sort out what will be the nature of their relationship. The film shows Williams' treatment of the South with its decadence, sexual undertones, and repressions. There are scenes of illicit sexuality, drug use, and extensive alcohol use. The movie captures a feeling of place and sadness and of the search for love and meaning characteristic of Williams' writing. The pacing is a little slow in places, but the script is Williams' and the movie is effective.
This is a small screenplay and film and would never be confused with a major work of Williams. Small slight things can still be beautiful as for example a Scarlatti sonata, a Schubert song, or a teardrop diamond earring. This is a lovely film in its story and atmosphere.. It is delicate and intimate and repays close attention. As with so much of Williams, the characters are frail underneath their exteriors. This is a fragile work, but it is successfully done, and moving. I was grateful for the opportunity to see this film here on Amazon Instant Video. The quality of the print was excellent.
I think it may have been the fine art of the production, its people and settings and costume - atmosphere and more....not just the story. But the story ends on a note of hope for happiness and redemption of most of the people in the story, because of the development of a relationship between two people, even if it cannot resist the determination to NOT NOT do the good and happy thing at first lights for it.
Still, Fisher is one who will grow into herself, in time, I think, and be beloved in her world. And Tommy is devoted to others while finding the path for himself. "Un peut do tout" - a bit of everything - of the life dynamics surrounds them and together it all makes a fine little person.
I really like the lead actors - Chris Evans is endearing and so is Bryce Dallas Howard - I just like them - together or individually they give that "real people" sort of impression that makes me feel that in world that Chooses Mordor over Gondor with both hands these days, these two are destined to bring strength leadership and light.