Tuesday, January 26, 2010

All Appointments are On the Studio Lot

Twitter Sonnet #105

The Death Panels shall be blind seamstresses.
Federal Satan bots shall roam on stilts.
They'll hand welfare cheques to all addresses.
And force all straight men of age to wear kilts.
Melted, cold apples kill the cranberries.
Bread and soup pull arms off at the market.
Your CD's accepted by car faeries.
Like an eye having sex with its socket.
Coquettish checkstands tease hamburger buns.
A pretty bank teller slyly watches.
Limelight shows up as a hundred cold suns.
Frogs feebly offer a box of matches.
Five hundred thirty five chessmen frozen.
Crippled cattle's cheaper by the dozen.

Over the past couple nights, I watched An Affair to Remember with dinner, a film that works almost entirely because of Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr's good chemistry. The screenplay's pretty clunky, except an observation about Grant's character--that the critic in him kills the artist in him--is interesting, and the last scene has some dialogue that's exciting for letting you watch the characters figure things out for themselves credibly.

I kept thinking how Michael Powell referred to Deborah Kerr as the most intelligent of actresses, and she does always come across as much sharper than most of even the best female leads of the era. She's able to take awkward dialogue in this movie and make it sound just about natural. I also loved her clothes;

In fact, Kerr's wardrobe is by far the most visually interesting thing about the film, which seems to be extraordinarily set bound, even for a film of the mid-1950s. The action goes from a cruise liner, a coastal French town, to New York City, and it's pretty clear neither of the leads left Los Angeles during filming. It's worst when one scene relies on Deborah Kerr finding Grant's grandmother's villa absolutely gorgeous when it barely looks more credible than a Star Trek set.

This is one of the reasons the second half of the movie is far better than the first. If you can forget that the process through which the two fall in love doesn't make much sense, despite their chemistry, the last portion is an appreciable little romance, except for a couple totally extraneous scenes of children singing.

No comments:

Post a Comment