T&H and I had a bit of an old school date night last night, dinner and a movie. I've been having a hellacious week this week at work, even though it's only a 4 day one. On the upside, 4 days of torture are better than 5, right? It's Monthly Management Meeting time, a particular time of the month that combines all the panic of Henny Penny with the psychotic frustrated rage of Michael Douglas's William 'D-Fens' Foster in Falling Down. The best one can do is put one's head and down and try like hell to stay employed.
So, in attempted antidote we had an absolutely fantastic early dinner before heading to the flicks. Bellies full of Vietnamese caramelised pork (ZOMG!) we headed to my favourite Cinema For Grown-Ups*, the Dendy, to see Easy Virtue. [Official website, with sound.]
I was clearly born fortymumblethirtymumble years too late because I wanted to be in this movie. Even as a non-smoker I was craving swanning around the crumbling Drawing Room of the Whittaker Estate, turkish fag in one hand and script of Noel Coward lines in the other. Not unlike the way I wanted to be one of the stately homos of England only 5 or 6 months ago.
If I got to marry Ben "Prince Caspian" Barnes in the process, then so be it. *sigh* Dressing for dinner never looked so good.
The women steal the movie, hands down. Modern meets old world. Brash meets reserved. American meets terribly, terribly British. Acid jibes are parried and cheap shots are fired across the bows. Apparently the original Noel Coward play was very cutting, one of his most vicious, and Stephan Elliott (Aussie director of "Priscilla Queen Of The Desert") and co-screenwriter Sheridan Jobbins have toned down the bile whilst keeping most of the acid.
ZOMG, Jen from the The I.T. Crowd! [/end geek moment]
So, as you might be able to tell, I loved it. The music is used to great effect. The costumes (oh the costumes!) are fabulous. The crumbling manse used as the setting is gorgeous, and lends an authenticity that sets never could. Dishy boys abound. Coward's dialogue is fab, and handled gently by Elliott and Jobbins. Biel is glamorous, smart, funny, strong and fragile in good order. Kristin Scott Thomas is brilliant, and formidable.
It's been out for a while now, but if you get a chance I'd recommend seeing it. The DVD was released recently and I think it's making it's way to my Wish List.
* Sure it has interesting films (subtitled and non), but more importantly a wide range of gourmet choc-tops and an even wider range of wines by the glass and beers. Wine in the cinema! Noel Coward and a lightly acid Sauv Blanc are a good mix.