Quantcast

De-Lovely (Blu-ray Review)

What happens when the musical genre gets meshed with the biography of the  musician who created some very famous musicals?  That’s what De-Lovely aims to tell in this Blu-ray release.  De-Lovely has a very cool and creative cast featuring the likes of Kevin Kline, Ashley Judd, and Jonathan Pryce.  In addition to the main actors cast for De-Lovely, the filmmakers went ahead and secured several very famous contemporary musicians for some of the big production numbers.  Not only were they featured in the film, but they also got to sing.  These superstars included, but were not limited to: Sheryl Crow, Alanis Morissette, Elvis Costello, Robbie Williams, Diane Krall, Natalie Cole, among others.  How does De-Lovely stack up against other musical features that came before or after it?  Come on in and find out. 

Film 

Cole Porter (Kevin Kline) was a legendary Broadway musical composer who had by his side the ultimate muse in Linda (Ashley Judd) Porter.  De-Lovely tells the story of how Cole and Linda Porter lived their lives on top of the Broadway world.  Cole was a very eccentric genius.  He had a knack for creating some catchy tunes that made him very famous and even more wealthy.  This, of course, was not all his doing.  Linda was the catalyst for his success and subsequent failures.  Did I mention that Cole Porter was also gay?  Some would say that this would have been the downfall of someone like Cole.  Especially in those days.  No, that would not happen, and the fact that he was gay in the context of the film is simply an afterthought.

Linda knew this, but was of mind that if she married him she would be able to bring out qualities in him that otherwise would just lay dormant.  And that’s how it would be for the rest of their lives.  Through many trials and tribulations they would remain together in mind and soul.  These moments and descriptions featured in De-Lovely are seamlessly spread throughout the film in an easy to follow matter.  The music does take center stage, but what struck me was that De-Lovely doesn’t play as some staged hokey musical where people bust into song and dance in  the real world.  De-Lovely plays as a musical that busts out into drama.  There’s  a difference.

De-Lovely has a great script and there are scenes that are incredibly haunting especially when Gabe (Jonathan Pryce) is on the screen.  Yeah, “Gabe.”  Get it?  I can’t spoil it for you, but it’s pretty cool and surreal.  Producer and director Irwin Winkler did gather a great group of actors and musicians for this grand scope of a film.  Production design also gives De-Lovely a grand sense of depth, because a lot of the scenes that were shot were done so on location.  Sure, sets were also used, but they don’t look like sets.  I think that’s why De-Lovely soars above other musicals.  It’s grounded in reality.  De-Lovely does not play as a fantasy musical; only when fantasy elements are used.  You could say that De-Lovely is a drama-musical. The drama comes first.

The spirit of De-Lovely cannot be denied.  Cole Porter was a talented genius of the Broadway scene, who wrote and composed many memorable numbers throughout his career, but could not have done so without Linda by his side.  Why wasn’t Ashley Judd nominated for an Oscar?  Sigh.

Video 

De-Lovely is presented in 1080p widescreen 2:35.1.  De-Lovely looks pretty impressive.  Colors are given a more pastele-like tone, so they do not “pop.”  I am sure it was an aesthetic choice.  Flesh tones do look natural, though.  I do not remember there being many night time scenes, but the few that were look very good.  The black levels were nice and inky, and looked amazing during the many theater performance numbers.  De-Lovely has a healthy layer of lovely grain throughout the film with next to no softness.  This is a pretty consistent video transfer.

Audio 

De-Lovely is presented in DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1.  De-Lovely BUMPS!  De-Lovely has a great sounding audio track.  The bass is full and non distorted, the highs don’t screech or clip.  Dialogue sounds crisp and clear and is mainly disbursed through the center channel.  Ambient effects do come through the surrounds clearly and do not run into each other. The LFE channel does its thing!  I’d go so far as to say that this is a near reference audio track.  Wait.  It IS a near reference track!

Special Features 

De-Lovely on Blu-ray comes stocked with a hearty helping of extras.  There are a couple of audio commentary tracks with Director Irwin Winkler and Kevin Kline, and Irwin Winkler and Writer Jay Cocks.  We have some featurettes that aren’t just fluff, but do go into detail on the making of the film.  Deleted Scenes are here, too.  All these special features are perfectly adequate, but unfortunately are presented in standard definition.  Sad face.

  • Audio Commentary by Director Irwin Winkler and Kevin Kline
  • Audio Commentary by Director Irwin Winkler and Writer Jay Cocks
  • Making of De-Lovely Featurette
  • Music of De-Lovely Featurette
  • Anatomy of a Scene: Be a Clown Featurette
  • Anatomy of a Scene: Love for Sale Featurette
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Theatrical Trailer

Final Thoughts 

De-Lovely is pretty awesome.  I went in with some reservation, because a friend had told me that he wasn’t a fan of the film and that he had actually seen it in theaters back in the day.  I had to block all of that out.  We don’t encourage vices on this website, but would opine that before watching De-Lovely you should light up a cigar, pour yourself a nice Scotch and just sit back and let De-Lovely take you on a journey.  It’s a very classy and well made film.  In fact, De-Lovely is quite lovely.

Order De-Lovely on Blu-ray!

Share

Gerard Iribe is a writer/reviewer for Why So Blu?. He has also reviewed for other sites like DVD Talk, Project-Blu, and CHUD, but Why So Blu? is where the heart is. You can follow his incoherency on Twitter: @giribe

2 Responses to “De-Lovely (Blu-ray Review)”


  1. Brian White

    As much as I did not like this movie, my heart still skips a beat whenever I see my girl 🙂

  2. Gerard Iribe

    I’m surprised that I liked that much. It was very enjoyable.