A couple of days ago, I watched a movie about an amazing American songwriter
Cole Porter, called De-Lovely. To
anyone who’s never heard of Cole Porter before: he was a prolific composer,
famous for his Broadway shows and his numerous jazz standards. He was
something special for writing both lyrics and music for his songs, which was a
rarity at that time. He had an amazing ability to come up with genius, funny,
witty lyrics, often full of innuendos, always accompanied by beautiful
melodies. Anybody, who was ever somebody in Jazz, recorded songs by Cole
Porter at one point or another in their career - from Ella
Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, Billie
Holiday to Charlie Parker, John Coltrane, Oscar Peterson and many others.
And to anyone familiar with Cole: even if you’re only remotely interested in
Mr Porter, this is a movie you cannot miss! After watching the movie, I
started understanding his songs much better and I started noticing more
important details in his music and intricate lyrics.
The movie starts at the end of Cole Porter’s life, with the dying songwriter retrospecting on his life, but observing it as if it was a musical. It’s a great concept that fits perfectly to his life and music. The story talks about his life, his indulgence and his very interesting relationship with his wife, Linda. It features great performances by Robbie Williams, Alanis Morissette, Sheryl Crow, Elvis Costello, Diana Krall, Natalie Cole and others. It’s truly a great biopic, which reveals new dimensions to the irreplaceable Cole Porter. The only criticism I have is that the movie starts and ends with a great rhythm, but somewhere in the middle seems to slow down a bit, which makes it feel a bit inconsistent. But seeing as how great the movie is overall, this is hardly an important remark.
I highly recommend the movie to anyone interested in music or anyone simply looking for a good story. In case you like it, I suggest you get Ella Fitzgerald’s Ella Fitzgerald Sings the Cole Porter Songbook to listen to afterwards. Her renditions are simply beautiful and it’s a great way to start getting into Cole’s music.
Now get the movie as soon as possible. You won’t be sorry. Enjoy and come back afterwards to tell me what you thought! I’d love to hear your comments.