Screened as part of NZIFF 2004
‘The night is young, the skies are clear/And if you want to go walkin’, dear/It’s delightful, it’s delicious, it’s de-lovely.’ If you don’t want these lyrics to lodge in your head for the rest of the winter, delete this film from your list. A swish Hollywood musical biography, in the literal, pre-Cabaret style, De-Lovely depicts the life of Broadway songwriting genius Cole Porter from the time of his early successes through to his death in 1964. Facing up to Porter’s homosexuality, but focused squarely on his marriage to wealthy divorcée Linda Lee [Porter] as the one sustaining relationship in his life and work, it’s a parade of fabulous clothes, Deco mansions, decadent parties, Hollywood pools and Broadway openings, with intriguing excursions into shadier groves. The soundtrack is a catalogue of some of the most romantic songs ever written. Natalie Cole, Alanis Morissette, Elvis Costello, Diana Krall, Sheryl Crow and Robbie Williams materialise in 30s nightclubs and prove that those long, catchily syncopated lines with their witty double entendres and sassy zingers will live forever at the height of style.