In New York's storied Chelsea Hotel, a novelist, a dancer, a painter, a poet, an aged jazz singer, and a young troubadour sort out their personal and artistic lives within walls haunted by the likes of Dylan Thomas, O. Henry, and Sarah Bernhardt. A boozy novelist balances wife, mistress, and stories. A dancer who's a waitress in the basement club chooses between a Hollywood jerk and a local painter. A youth from Minnesota who composes and sings may be the next Bob Dylan. A poet decides to give her feckless boyfriend another chance, even as her eyes tell us she knows what's ahead. An old jazz artist wants to place a bet and share his love for Lady Day. These walls do seem to talk. Written by
You're Bob Dylan? By any chance can I kiss your boot?
Hey! You're from Minnesota, aren't ya? You must be him! Huh?
Seriously dude, fuck off.
Bob! Bob! Bob! Bob! Hey, listen to this, you're not going to believe this, man. I am down in the lobby, right? Right?
There's this guy, puttin' up a paintin'. So, I'm like, helpin' 'em with the ladder and shit. He tells me, he lives here, in a room just like this one... but he's got it all for free. Yup, all he's gotta do is give a paintin'...
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Chelsea Walls ~ for me, was like peering into a snow globe, deep into the magnified lives of these haunting people who cohabit in the Chelsea Hotel. I loved every moment of the film, every spoken line, every expression, every look, every touch, every note of music, every movement of the camera, scanning a world that I felt akin to as well as intrusive of; I could not look away nor did I want to.
I fell in love with:
Mary (Natasha Richardson) ~ I just plain love her face while she is talking!
Bud and Greta (Kris Kristofferson and Tuesday Weld) ~ How could I believe they were performing? They tore me up with their intensity, then blew me away with their frailty.
Terry and Ross (Robert Sean Leonard and Steve Zahn) ~ The wise man and the devoted jester perhaps ? Though, not as defineable as you may think. I loved them immediately and related to each of them at both ends of the eccentricity spectrum.
Audrey and Val (Rosario Dawson and Mark Webber) ~ A multi faceted love story, comprehensible by their stark, possibly misguided devotion. Audrey's poem, as she read it to Val, and the simple artistry in the portrayal of the ensuing scenes roused the most tender of spots in my heart and soul.
Grace (Uma Thurman) ~ As boldly determined to let loose and create poetry as she is unassuming and timid in establishing a human connection. In an elusive way, the Chelsea's "anchor". Figure THAT out.
Frank (Vincent D'Onofrio) ~ Heh, what a face ~ The bold, determined, cut loose, creative artist who understands and endures Grace's indifference.
And.......... the somewhat older poet laureate of sorts, "haunting" the halls decked in a t-shirt and baseball cap quoting beautiful, inspiring poetry. His final performance of the movie brought my heart to my throat and the tears, once again overflowed unashamedly.
The memory of what I saw and heard is lingering still ~ I'm having a hard time letting go of this film ~ and I won't. That night, I was metamorphosed, surprised at this startling change; the letting go of trivialities and, the fathomable realization of the holiness of merely existing in this world with all who are merely doing the same.
Oh, there is so much more to tell you of..... you just NEED to experience this film for yourself. Peer into your own snow globe and delight in what you see there!
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