IMDb > Sandra Nelson > News
Quicklinks
Top Links
biography by votes awardsNewsDeskmessage board
Filmographies
overviewby type by year by ratings by votes awards by genre by keyword
Biographical
biography other works publicity photo galleryNewsDeskmessage board
External Links
official sites miscellaneous photographs sound clips video clips

News for
Sandra Nelson (I) More at IMDbPro »

Connect with IMDb



2 items from 2004


De-Lovely

9 July 2004 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

CANNES -- "De-Lovely" is a sprightly musical revue built around Cole Porter songs and a few biographical tidbits culled from his extraordinary life. Director Irwin Winkler, clearly a huge fan -- as, in the interest of full disclosure, am I -- has no interest in doing "The Cole Porter Story", a standard biopic with occasional musical numbers lifted from stage and film triumphs. No, he wants to listen to the best American popular music written in the 20th century. For at the end of the day, Porter was all about his delightful, delicious, de-lovely songs, and everything in his life seemed to feed into the music and lyrics.

Which may mean "De-Lovely" has too narrow an appeal for today's audiences for whom the Jazz Age and Tin Pan Alley are off the radar. To expand that appeal, Winkler has drafted a reasonably hip collection of current rock and pop talent ranging from Alanis Morissette and Diana Krall to Sheryl Crow, Elvis Costello and Natalie Cole. This should help, but the songs are sung and danced in styles that still reach back in time. The unconventional relationship between Cole and Linda Porter, a marriage of convenience between a gay man and an accepting woman, may extend interest to those curious about how those dynamics work. The film may enjoy a modest theatrical success in adult, urban venues but will certainly blossom in ancillary markets.

Winkler and writer Jay Cocks have devised a highly theatrical vehicle for their musical retelling of Cole's life. As lights come up in a dark Manhattan apartment, we see Cole -- Kevin Kline unrecognizable in fine old-age makeup -- slumped at his grand piano, tickling the ivories and waiting for death, which is imminent. Then an unannounced guest named Gabe (Jonathan Pryce) appears, ready to whisk the dying man off to the theater where he is staging Cole's life story. Another light cue and we are in that theater, and the cast -- the people from Cole's life -- flood in.

Thus begins a two-hour review -- his life flashing before his eyes only with panache. He sees his wife Linda (Ashley Judd) as she was the evening he met her in a Paris salon in 1918. (The film cheats here by making it look like the '20s.) And there the youthful Cole is too -- Kline without the makeup but dressed to the nines with a cigarette and drink at his fingers and a twinkle in his eyes.

The music seldom stops. If the two stroll in a Parisian park, Cole quickly locates an amusement park piano and bangs out a tune. Robbie Williams sings at the Porters' wedding. Costello performs at one of their Venetian masquerade balls. The Porters attend his many opening nights, with Linda always handing Cole an engraved Tiffany cigarette holder.

The focus is the lifelong love affair between the Porters. The film begins not with his youth in Indiana, his days at Yale or his first Broadway show in 1916, but the moment his eyes fall on Linda Lee. Coming off a bad marriage and wealthy in her own right, Linda falls for Cole before he finishes singing a song. After they sleep together, he struggles -- in the only scene that finds Cole at a loss for the right word -- to explain his homosexuality. But she shushes him by saying she already knows he likes men better than she does. It's a line explored no further, but might go a long way toward explaining their marriage.

Linda, according to the movie, believes so strongly in Cole's talent that she goads him into returning to New York and taking a crack at Broadway. In real life, success was not instant, but the movie tells it differently by cutting to his first hit, "Let's Do It, Let's Fall in Love" from "Paris" in 1928.

While looking nothing like Porter, Kline sublimely suggests the rakish spirit of a man who pursued the high life with zeal. While the life of the many parties he enjoyed, he keeps the world at arm's length with a quip and a song. Cole comes off as a shallow, self-absorbed gay blade, careless in his relationships, including with his wife, even though he is keenly aware of her influence on his career.

Linda is harder to read. Judd personifies an early 20th century beauty who uses grace and charm to hide a lot. She is Cole's muse, coach and promoter -- everything, in fact, but his lover. She accepts this reality, but the movie is vague about why. The two love each other, without passion but in every other way.

Both free spirits are cruelly felled by catastrophic illness. A horse riding accident crushes Cole's legs in 1937, leading to excruciating pain and many operations for the rest of his life. Linda (as does Cole) smokes incessantly, giving herself the emphysema that leads to her death in 1954. His career essentially ends then, though he continues living until 1964.

The movie is cheerfully skin deep. The seeming nonchalance of Porter's music seduces Winkler into depicting its composition as a thing knocked off before evening cocktails. In only one instance does Cole illustrate the methodology of his songwriting, when he coaches a Broadway singer on how to sing "Night and Day" as a song about "obsession." The film could have used more of this kind of insight.

Kevin McNally and Sandra Nelson portray lifelong friends of the Porters, yet even with a child dying young, the film barely registers their presence. Cole's gay lifestyle is handled -- depending on how you look at it -- with reticence or reluctance. He is depicted warmly embracing men or dressing while a lover of the moment lies decorously supine on a rumpled bed, but you get no sense of genuine passion.

The numbers are staged with wit and style. They may seem restrained compared with the flash of Baz Luhrmann, but the stagings fit the moods of Porter's songs. Sets and costumes beautifully evoke the four decades the movie spans.

DE-LOVELY

MGM Films

An Irwin Winkler film

Credits:

Director: Irwin Winkler

Screenwriter: Jay Cocks

Producers: Irwin Winkler, Rob Cowan, Charles Winkler

Executive producers: Simon Channing Williams, Gail Egan

Director of photography: Tony Pierce-Roberts

Production designer: Eve Stewart

Music: Cole Porter

Costume designer: Janty Yates

Editor: Julie Monroe

Cast:

Cole Porter: Kevin Kline

Linda Cole: Ashley Judd

Gabe: Jonathan Pryce

Gerald Murphy: Kevin McNally

Sara Murphy: Sandra Nelson

Monty Woolley: Allan Corduner

L.B. Mayer: Peter Polycarpou

Irving Berlin: Keith Allen

MPAA rating: PG-13

Running time -- 125 minutes »

Permalink | Report a problem


De-Lovely

24 May 2004 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

CANNES -- "De-Lovely" is a sprightly musical revue built around Cole Porter songs and a few biographical tidbits culled from his extraordinary life. Director Irwin Winkler, clearly a huge fan -- as, in the interest of full disclosure, am I -- has no interest in doing "The Cole Porter Story", a standard biopic with occasional musical numbers lifted from stage and film triumphs. No, he wants to listen to the best American popular music written in the 20th century. For at the end of the day, Porter was all about his delightful, delicious, de-lovely songs, and everything in his life seemed to feed into the music and lyrics.

Which may mean "De-Lovely" has too narrow an appeal for today's audiences for whom the Jazz Age and Tin Pan Alley are off the radar. To expand that appeal, Winkler has drafted a reasonably hip collection of current rock and pop talent ranging from Alanis Morissette and Diana Krall to Sheryl Crow, Elvis Costello and Natalie Cole. This should help, but the songs are sung and danced in styles that still reach back in time. The unconventional relationship between Cole and Linda Porter, a marriage of convenience between a gay man and an accepting woman, may extend interest to those curious about how those dynamics work. The film may enjoy a modest theatrical success in adult, urban venues but will certainly blossom in ancillary markets.

Winkler and writer Jay Cocks have devised a highly theatrical vehicle for their musical retelling of Cole's life. As lights come up in a dark Manhattan apartment, we see Cole -- Kevin Kline unrecognizable in fine old-age makeup -- slumped at his grand piano, tickling the ivories and waiting for death, which is imminent. Then an unannounced guest named Gabe (Jonathan Pryce) appears, ready to whisk the dying man off to the theater where he is staging Cole's life story. Another light cue and we are in that theater, and the cast -- the people from Cole's life -- flood in.

Thus begins a two-hour review -- his life flashing before his eyes only with panache. He sees his wife Linda (Ashley Judd) as she was the evening he met her in a Paris salon in 1918. (The film cheats here by making it look like the '20s.) And there the youthful Cole is too -- Kline without the makeup but dressed to the nines with a cigarette and drink at his fingers and a twinkle in his eyes.

The music seldom stops. If the two stroll in a Parisian park, Cole quickly locates an amusement park piano and bangs out a tune. Robbie Williams sings at the Porters' wedding. Costello performs at one of their Venetian masquerade balls. The Porters attend his many opening nights, with Linda always handing Cole an engraved Tiffany cigarette holder.

The focus is the lifelong love affair between the Porters. The film begins not with his youth in Indiana, his days at Yale or his first Broadway show in 1916, but the moment his eyes fall on Linda Lee. Coming off a bad marriage and wealthy in her own right, Linda falls for Cole before he finishes singing a song. After they sleep together, he struggles -- in the only scene that finds Cole at a loss for the right word -- to explain his homosexuality. But she shushes him by saying she already knows he likes men better than she does. It's a line explored no further, but might go a long way toward explaining their marriage.

Linda, according to the movie, believes so strongly in Cole's talent that she goads him into returning to New York and taking a crack at Broadway. In real life, success was not instant, but the movie tells it differently by cutting to his first hit, "Let's Do It, Let's Fall in Love" from "Paris" in 1928.

While looking nothing like Porter, Kline sublimely suggests the rakish spirit of a man who pursued the high life with zeal. While the life of the many parties he enjoyed, he keeps the world at arm's length with a quip and a song. Cole comes off as a shallow, self-absorbed gay blade, careless in his relationships, including with his wife, even though he is keenly aware of her influence on his career.

Linda is harder to read. Judd personifies an early 20th century beauty who uses grace and charm to hide a lot. She is Cole's muse, coach and promoter -- everything, in fact, but his lover. She accepts this reality, but the movie is vague about why. The two love each other, without passion but in every other way.

Both free spirits are cruelly felled by catastrophic illness. A horse riding accident crushes Cole's legs in 1937, leading to excruciating pain and many operations for the rest of his life. Linda (as does Cole) smokes incessantly, giving herself the emphysema that leads to her death in 1954. His career essentially ends then, though he continues living until 1964.

The movie is cheerfully skin deep. The seeming nonchalance of Porter's music seduces Winkler into depicting its composition as a thing knocked off before evening cocktails. In only one instance does Cole illustrate the methodology of his songwriting, when he coaches a Broadway singer on how to sing "Night and Day" as a song about "obsession." The film could have used more of this kind of insight.

Kevin McNally and Sandra Nelson portray lifelong friends of the Porters, yet even with a child dying young, the film barely registers their presence. Cole's gay lifestyle is handled -- depending on how you look at it -- with reticence or reluctance. He is depicted warmly embracing men or dressing while a lover of the moment lies decorously supine on a rumpled bed, but you get no sense of genuine passion.

The numbers are staged with wit and style. They may seem restrained compared with the flash of Baz Luhrmann, but the stagings fit the moods of Porter's songs. Sets and costumes beautifully evoke the four decades the movie spans.

DE-LOVELY

MGM Films

An Irwin Winkler film

Credits:

Director: Irwin Winkler

Screenwriter: Jay Cocks

Producers: Irwin Winkler, Rob Cowan, Charles Winkler

Executive producers: Simon Channing Williams, Gail Egan

Director of photography: Tony Pierce-Roberts

Production designer: Eve Stewart

Music: Cole Porter

Costume designer: Janty Yates

Editor: Julie Monroe

Cast:

Cole Porter: Kevin Kline

Linda Cole: Ashley Judd

Gabe: Jonathan Pryce

Gerald Murphy: Kevin McNally

Sara Murphy: Sandra Nelson

Monty Woolley: Allan Corduner

L.B. Mayer: Peter Polycarpou

Irving Berlin: Keith Allen

MPAA rating: PG-13

Running time -- 125 minutes »

Permalink | Report a problem


2 items from 2004


IMDb.com, Inc. takes no responsibility for the content or accuracy of the above news articles, Tweets, or blog posts. This content is published for the entertainment of our users only. The news articles, Tweets, and blog posts do not represent IMDb's opinions nor can we guarantee that the reporting therein is completely factual. Please visit the source responsible for the item in question to report any concerns you may have regarding content or accuracy.

See our NewsDesk partners