Stylishly successful Cole Porter musical biopic

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Don’t be put off by singing cameos from the likes of Robbie, Alanis, Sheryl et al: this inventive, vibrant ride through Cole Porter’s life story (written by Scorsese collaborator Jay Cocks) succeeds in fusing the music’s glory with both the grandeur and gutter-trawling of the man. A clever deconstruction technique has the dying Cole watching his nights and days flash before him, the mysterious Gabe (Jonathan Pryce) choreographing, from rise to fall to comeback to big reveal. It’s visually sparkling. Kevin Kline, as Porter, wins you over with his commitment and sincerity. In the glittering Jazz Age he marries socialite Linda (Ashley Judd), who tolerates his gay flings as long as he keeps coming up with the goods. And these goods are greats: “Love For Sale” and “In The Still Of The Night” are wonderfully deployed. Moving to Hollywood, things hit the rocks, and Cole loses the use of his legs. Sure, De-Lovely manipulates your emotions, but, like the songs, it never insults your intelligence, giving you the grind as well as the glamour.


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