De-Lovely is an original musical portrait of American composer Cole Porter, filled with his unforgettable songs. In the film, Porter is looking back on his life as if it was one of his spectacular stage shows, with the people and events of his life becoming the actors and action onstage. Through elaborate production numbers and popular hits like "Anything Goes," "It's De-Lovely," and "Night and Day," Porter's elegant, excessive past comes to light - including his deeply complicated relationship with his wife and muse, Linda Lee Porter. Written by
I am so touched by the beautiful film we have just seen that I'm almost too overwhelmed to talk about it.
The movie is 'De-Lovely' about the life of Cole Porter, his music and, most of all, about an amazing, unlikely and wonderful love. I don't know how much is true and how much is given to poetic license, but I don't care and I don't especially want to know. I just want to hang on to the heartfelt experience.
I was not alone in my reaction to 'De-Lovely.' In addition to the spontaneous applause at the end of the screening, an astonishing number of people in the audience were still in their seats, savoring the impact, when the last of the credits rolled. 'De-Lovely' is such an integrated masterpiece of movie-making that I will only reluctantly move on to crediting the pieces that contribute to the whole.
Kevin Klein delivers a superb performance playing Cole Porter from middle age into his advanced years. Ashley Judd provides an equally compelling performance as Linda Lee, the woman whom Cole meets and marries early in the film. The story starts in 1920's Paris and includes scenes in Venice prior to Cole and Linda moving on to NYC and the "Great White Way," Hollywood, and finally, Massachusetts.
The sets and costumes, together with direction by Irwin Winkler, transport the audience flawlessly to the time and places of Cole and Linda's experiences. (It was interesting to note that this movie was shot in England and Italy; apparently none of it was filmed in the U.S.A. at all!) 'De-Lovely' also achieves its spectacular success by way of the strong script from Jay Cocks. And, of course, there is the wonderful music of Cole Porter, sung by amateurs Kline and Judd, as well as an impressive, multi-talented array of young musical artists.
You could elect to see this film in order to learn more about the life of Cole Porter. You could go in order to enjoy the songs and show presentations of Cole's music. You could also go to experience the time and places in Cole's life. However, the best reason to go is because this is a wonderful if improbable love story. The story of love evolving and maturing as it is nurtured by Linda's full knowledge and acceptance of Cole's homosexual or bisexual proclivities. Yet, Cole says of his many love songs that they have always been for Linda and we never doubt that it is true. In the end, after their relationship and love has been tested by terrible adversity, they are still there for each other with an ever-deepening love and tenderness.
Rated A+, see 'De-Lovely' for the story of Cole Porter, for travel to a different time and to different places, for the music and mostly to experience the love story. In my opinion, the movie is decidedly de-lovely!
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