I remember seeing this one weekend years back, and really thought the story was cruel. The film portrays the custody battle of young socialite Gloria Vanderbilt, legend in the world of fashion design, and the possible ramifications of this emotional turmoil.
The thing that struck me about this movie was that it didn't feel like a movie. It was technically very competent, but didn't move well. There were props, there were costumes, there were sets, even one or two locations (though I seem to recall that most of the movie was comprised of interior shots), but there was little in terms of moving the story along, and less action.
Most of the film, from what I recall, was comprised of emotional vignettes. Like they were episodes out of a TV series as opposed to a feature film. Now that I've found this entry on the IMDb I understand that this was a made for TV movie, which makes a little more sense. Even so, not that I know that and it explains my viewing experience, I can't say that I would recommend this film nor call it good. It struck me as a movie made about a wealthy individual's childhood. A story that had emotional ups and downs, but otherwise wasn't much different than any other custody battle except that it involved the rich and famous.
And I guess that's what gets me about this film. For all of its gloss the basic tale wasn't anything more than a glitzed up version of "Kramer versus Kramer" or a made for TV movie thereof. We see suggestive tawdry details, but we're not really privy as to whether they're actually true or not. And that's the other thing that holds back this film; you don't know how much truth there is on either side of the trial. So, as a viewer, what do you do with that? I endured it, and sat through it, but to be exceedingly honest, I wish I had tuned it out.
I can't recommend this film in any capacity unless you're into the whole custody battle thing, and like stories about rich and famous people's childhoods. It's visually rich in terms of the shots that are there, and you do sympathize with young Gloria as her family tears itself asunder, but if this had been a couple in a trailer park, or a couple living out in rural or mountainous America, would you still find it interesting? If it had been a couple in India, Bhutan, outer Mongolia, Portugal, Brazilian Amazon, would you still tune in and sit through it? Of course you wouldn't.
I saw it once, and once was enough. To be fair it's an okay movie for what it is, but the entire production felt like it could have been more in terms of material portrayed, as well as trimmed down in terms of length.
Give it a shot.
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