De-Lovely: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Original poster
Directed by Irwin Winkler
Produced by Simon Channing Williams
Written by Jay Cocks
Starring Kevin Kline
Ashley Judd
Jonathan Pryce
Music by Cole Porter
Cinematography Tony Pierce-Roberts
Editing by Julie Monroe
Distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release date(s) United States:
July 2, 2004
United Kingdom:
October 1, 2004
Running time 125 minutes
Country United States
United Kingdom
Language English
Budget $20,000,000 (estimated)

De-Lovely is a 2004 American/British musical biographical film directed by Irwin Winkler. The screenplay by Jay Cocks is based on the life and career of Cole Porter, from his first meeting with Linda Lee Thomas in 1918 until moments before his death in 1964. It is the second biopic about the composer, following Night and Day released in 1946.


Plot synopsis

In the final moments of Porter's life, it flashes before him in the form of a musical production staged by the archangel Gabriel in the Indiana theater where the composer first performed on stage. From the start, Linda is aware of Cole's gay feelings, but her love for and devotion to him are strong enough for her to overlook his romantic flings outside their marriage. But when he fails to show up at one of his own opening night parties and doesn't come home until the following morning, she finds it impossible to ignore his indiscretion and the continuous innuendos in his songs and goes to Paris, leaving him bereft. Not until he is injured in a horseback riding accident that seriously cripples him does she return to his side, willing to forgive but still finding it difficult to cope with his extramarital affairs. Cole is photographed in an amorous embrace with another man in the rest room of a gay nightclub, and both he and Linda are blackmailed into paying a heavy settlement to suppress publication of the pictures. Eventually she is diagnosed with lung cancer, and as she prepares herself and her husband for her impending death, she attempts to forge a relationship between him and her interior decorator so he'll have a companion following her death, which deeply affects him. The eventual amputation of his right leg adds to his deep depression, affecting his creative output.Porter becomes increasingly seclusive, as well as becoming more dependent on alcohol.[1][2]

Production notes

Although Porter was a passable singer at best, director Irwin Winkler cast Kevin Kline, winner of two Tony Awards and two Drama Desk Awards for his musical performances on Broadway, as the composer. He stayed in character by limiting his vocal range. Most of his singing was recorded live on the set, and the actor played the piano himself in the scenes where Porter plays.

According to Winkler's commentary on the DVD release of the film, he had considered numerous actresses for the role of Linda when Ashley Judd's agent advised him she was interested in the part. Winkler was certain her salary demand would exceed that allowed by the budget, but the actress was so anxious to portray Linda she was willing to lower her usual asking price. Judd is twenty years younger than Kline, although the composer's wife was eight years older than he.

Filming locations included Chiswick House and Luton Hoo.

The film premiered at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival.[3] It was shown at the CineVegas International Film Festival, the Sydney Film Festival, and the San Francisco International Lesbian and Gay Film Festival before going into limited release in the US.

The film grossed $13,337,299 in the US and $5,059,083 in other markets for a total worldwide box office of $18,396,382.[4]

Principal cast


A soundtrack album of music from the film was released on June 15, 2004.

Track Listing (Europe)
  1. "It's De-Lovely" performed by Robbie Williams
  2. "Let's Do It (Let's Fall In Love)" performed by Alanis Morissette
  3. "Begin The Beguine" performed by Sheryl Crow
  4. "Let's Misbehave" performed by Elvis Costello
  5. "Be a Clown" performed by Kevin Kline, Peter Polycarpou, and Chorus
  6. "Night and Day" performed by John Barrowman
  7. "Easy to Love" performed by Kevin Kline
  8. "True Love" by Ashley Judd and Tayler Hamilton
  9. "What Is This Thing Called Love?" performed by Lemar
  10. "I Love You" performed by Mick Hucknall
  11. "Just One of Those Things" performed by Diana Krall
  12. "Anything Goes" performed by Caroline O'Connor
  13. "Experiment" performed by Kevin Kline
  14. "Love for Sale" performed by Vivian Green
  15. "So In Love" performed by Lara Fabian and Mario Frangoulis
  16. "Ev'ry Time We Say Goodbye" performed by Natalie Cole
  17. "Blow, Gabriel, Blow" performed by Jonathan Pryce, Kevin Kline, Cast, and Chorus
  18. "In the Still of the Night" performed by Kevin Kline and Ashley Judd
  19. "You're The Top" performed by Cole Porter

The United States release omits track 7, "Easy to Love".

Critical reception

In his review in the New York Times, Stephen Holden called the film "lethally inert" and "lifeless and drained of genuine joie de vivre" and added, "It didn't have to be like this. In their highly stylized ways, All That Jazz (Bob Fosse's morbidly manic screen autobiography), Ken Russell's surreal portraits of composers or any of Federico Fellini's libidinous self-explorations have delved deeply into the muck of artistic creativity. Sadly, the daring and imagination required to go below the surface are nowhere to be found in De-Lovely."[5]

Ruthe Stein of the San Francisco Chronicle said, "The movie never gels - despite Kline's nuanced performance, the stars' exquisite period clothes designed by Armani, and, of course, Porter's great songs. Director Irwin Winkler's highly stylized technique is difficult to connect with emotionally. His film also suffers from shockingly sloppy editing for a studio production. If nothing else, the composer . . . deserves a movie that has rhythm. But De- Lovely lurches along like a car with a missing spark plug."[6]

In Rolling Stone, Peter Travers rated the film three out of a possible four stars and commented, "In voice, manner, patrician charm and private torment, Kevin Kline is perfection as legendary composer Cole Porter . . . At its best, De-Lovely evokes a time, a place and a sound with stylish wit and sophistication."[7]

Steve Persall of the St. Petersburg Times graded the film C- and observed, "The movie is actually an ugly compilation of clashing cinematic styles occasionally salvaged by musical numbers that essentially are part of the problem. You can't make a good movie about a 1930s composer using a 1970s film conceit while hiring 21st century recording artists to perform Porter's classic songs. A tribute CD, maybe, but not a movie . . . [it] plays like a cabaret review rather than a motion picture, a sublime collection of songs linked by scripted banter barely scratching the surface of its subject. Not delightful, not delicious, just disappointing."[8]

Awards and nominations

See also


External links

Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address