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Flawed but absorbing drama based on the personality and twilight years of Nellie Melba
Evensong based on the personality and twilight years of Nellie Melba is not perfect, being flawed, but the film is absorbing and intelligently done. While the pacing is somewhat pedestrian, the script rather sketchy(though I loved "my cousin has been assassinated at Sarajevo- God only knows what this is going to lead to!") and the direction is a little too smug there is much to enjoy. The production values are very nice, and the music ranging from popular tunes as seen in the Soldiers' canteen scene to heavier opera is superb. There are also some poignant parts, which I appreciated, and the acting and singing is good as well.
Evelyn Laye plays her title role(the Prima Donna Irela/Maggie O'Neal who leads a successful but tragic life) with decisive sharpness that is certainly memorable, and Fritz Kortner is surprisingly powerful as the impresario Kober. But I do want to mention Conchita Supervia as Baba L'Etoile for her presence was charming and her rendition of Quando M'en Vo(La Boheme) is positively beautiful. Overall, it is flawed, but it is also absorbing. People may find it silly in alternative to poignant and slow, the slow complaint I can understand but Evensong has never struck me as silly, melodramatic perhaps but not silly. 7/10 Bethany Cox
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