Genre: Drama/Musical/Biography
Director: Irwin Winkler
Starring: Kevin Kline, Ashley Judd, Jonathan Pryce, Angie Hill, Keith Allen, John Barrowman, Natalie Cole, Allan Corduner, Elvis Costello
RunTime: 2 hrs 5 mins
Released By: 20th Century Fox
Rating: M18 (Mature Theme)

Released Date: 21 October 2004 (Exclusively at Cathay Cineleisure Orchard)


This biopic of songwriter Cole Porter (Kevin Kline) focuses on the composer's unusual arrangement with his wife, Linda Lee - Porter was gay - and is told in the style of a musical stage show. Linda Lee served as an inspiration for Cole's love songs, even though they didn't have a traditionally romantic relationship.


Songwriter Cole Porter is not really a household name here. But he has written numerous love songs that were evidently used in Hollywood classics. Judd portrays Linda: wife, partner and inspiration for Cole who can be considered "bisexual" in today's cosmopolitan lifestyle. Never mind Cole has frequently strayed away from Linda's embrace and can be seen patronising gay bars and ended up with intimate relationships with stage actors and playboys. Forsaking her usual tough-girl image, Ashley Judd turns to serious drama and musical. She succeeded in portraying a woman who allowed herself to be served as a guardian to Cole's career, reputation and a woman who will never be the only love of Cole.

Kevin Kline is both witty, talented, playful as Cole Porter. From Venice to New York to Hollywood, Kline portrayal of Cole is effortless as the audience is greatly mesmerised by his songs, musical notes behind the piano and love lyrics which speaks much of his feelings with Linda throughout.

The movie opens with Jonathan Pryce and Kevin Kline sitting in a theatre. Pryce begins to introduce the life of Cole on stage, a musical based on Cole's life. While the movie has a rather slow, impeding start, it slowly opens, dwells itself into the audience's hearts with lots of nice peppered songs routines and the cameos of contemporary stars such as Robbie Williams, Sheryl Crow and Alanis Morissette. Most touching of course is the relationship between Cole and Linda. Passionate and complete romance is something both will not find. But when Cole broke his legs in a horse-riding accident, it was Linda who helped him to continue his lifelong of songs composing and revive his sagging career in Hollywood.

"De-lovely" is a movie with strong performances from the leads. Unusual, unpretentious and highly nostalgic. It should be nice to see a change of genre once a while. Highly recommended stuff. "De-Lovely" was the closing film for this year Cannes film festival.

"Time marches on and soon it's plain
You've won my heart and I've lost my brain,
It's delightful, it's delicious, it's de-lovely."
-- from It's De-lovely

Movie Rating: A-

  Publicity Stills of "De-Lovely" (Courtesy from 20th Century Fox)

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