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The Chaperone (2018)

Not Rated | | Drama | 29 March 2019 (USA)
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1:47 | Trailer
In the early 1920s, a Kansas woman finds her life forever changed when she accompanies a young dancer on her fame-seeking journey to New York City.

Director:

Michael Engler

Writers:

Julian Fellowes (screenplay by), Laura Moriarty (based on the book by)
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Elizabeth McGovern ... Norma
Haley Lu Richardson ... Louise
Géza Röhrig ... Joseph
Victoria Hill ... Myra Brooks
Campbell Scott ... Alan
Blythe Danner ... Mary O'Dell
Andrew Burnap ... Floyd
Miranda Otto ... Ruth St. Dennis
Robbie Fairchild ... Ted Shawn (as Robert Fairchild)
Matt McGrath ... Raymond
Daisy Pugh-Weiss ... Young Greta (as Daisy Ann Pugh)
Sean Hudock ... Young Man
Jayne Houdyshell ... Sister Delores
Meg Heus ... Nun
Robert Ray Manning Jr. ... Man #1 (as Robert Manning Jr.)
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Storyline

In this handsome period piece perfectly suited for cinephiles of all stripes, director Michael Engler (Downton Abbey, 30 Rock, Six Feet Under) and screenwriter Julian Fellowes (Downton Abbey, Gosford Park) bring a fascinating slice of pre-Hollywood history to light in a coming-of-age story centering on the relationship between the young, free-spirited and soon-to-be international screen starlet Louise Brooks (a riveting, high-intensity Haley Lu Richardson) and her tee-totalling chaperone (a wonderfully nuanced Elizabeth McGovern). On their journey from the conservative confines of Wichita Kansas to the flash and sizzle of New York City, both women are driven by a kindred desire for self-discovery and liberation from the past. Based on the book by Laura Moriarty and anchored by a superb supporting cast (Miranda Otto, Géza Röhrig, and Blythe Danner in a key cameo), The Chaperone is a sensitive, resonant, and illuminating tale of women's lives in the early 20th century.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

One Trip Can Change Everything

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | Australia | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

29 March 2019 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Chaperone See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$12,150, 31 March 2019

Gross USA:

$600,654

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,541,223
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Although it is not identified as such, the musical that Norma and Louise attend is Noble Sissle and Eubie Blake's "Shuffle Along." See more »

Goofs

Two scenes show a train going to or from Kansas, but does not show American railroad equipment. The steam engine is British or European. American railroad equipment does not the have buffers (two round bumper-like fixtures on each end of engines or cars). The engine shown has buffers. See more »

Quotes

Ruth St. Dennis: Art is not tinsel. Art is gold. And it must be handled by the worthy.
See more »

Crazy Credits

After the first few credits, a few short clips from some of Louise's movies are shown. See more »

Soundtracks

I'm Just Wild About Harry
Lyrics by Noble Sissle
Music by Eubie Blake
Sung by Lillias White
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Julian Fellowes certainly knows his audience
25 August 2019 | by AlsExGalSee all my reviews

The creator of Downton Abbey wrote the screenplay for The Chaperone, a story ostensibly about legendary silent screen star Louise Brooks' first trip to New York. Louise's cultured and elitist mother has big dreams for her daughter, which won't happen if she stays in Wichita. Louise (Haley Lu Richardson) can go to New York only if accompanied by a chaperone, and Elizabeth McGovern's Norma eagerly volunteers, for reasons later revealed. Richardson transforms wonderfully, capturing Lulu's energy and insouciance. Brooks quickly becomes the star pupil at the Denishawn Dance School, holds court at a swank Speakeasy called the Velvet Cat, and resents being told what to do by Norma, whom she likes but doesn't necessarily respect. The push-pull between Norma and Louise is a highlight.

Norma, with her nineteenth century sense of propriety, lives in quiet disappointment and repressed anger. Shocked by what she caught her husband (an excellent Campbell Scott) doing, and haunted by murky childhood memories, in which she was abandoned at a Catholic orphanage, waiting for adoption. The only thing that excites her is tracking down her birth mother and pining for a late life renewal. The film has a pleasing symmetry in how the two women's stories are told: For Brooks, it's just beginning, but also for Norma, in a feel-good twist of irony that is so very Downtonesque.


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