Irwin Winkler’s film ‘De Lovely’, a film on the life and times of Cole Porter, had a strong impact on me. It was by no means a perfect film but I found it challenging.The setting is non-naturalistic. Cole Porter is sitting in the stalls of a theatre with the plays director as they commence watching scenes from the new musical play about his life. They argue with each other over where a good starting point for the play should be. For the next 2 hours the audience is swapped between Porter’s unfolding story and the old Porter’s reaction to it.
I have to admit that the biographical genre is one of my favourite genres. ‘De Lovely’ is one of the best of its kind. Here are my impressions of this portrait.
Wealth comes to the forefront. He was a man of enormous wealth, and lived in the most luxurious of estates. In this sense, he was not like a mere mortal, money was never a problem. Lucky him!
In another respect he was also not very human. Porter came across as a man with infinite talent. It seemed to take him no effort at all for him to come up with a great pop tune.
He was a man who loved to party. The parties he threw at his houses were nothing short of lavish. And of-course a great deal of alcohol was always on tap.
The portrait given shows a man who was extremely self centered. I guess many people would consider that a typical trait of the artist. In this warts and all biography, there are many scenes of unashamed selfishness, times when he left his wife at home whilst he would stay out late and have sexual encounters.