My "Chéri" Amour

First of all, condolences to the Redgraves, the Richardsons and the Neesons for their loss of Natasha Richardson (1963-2009; "The Parent Trap," the revival of "Cabaret," Merchant/Ivory's "The White Countess"), who died yesterday of brain damage after a skiing accident. R.I.P., lady.
The trailer for Stephen Frears' prestige film, "Chéri," from the Colette novella which stars Michelle Pfeiffer in the title role (which many are pegging as her return to the game for that coveted Oscar she's still not won yet; I say take a number, neither has Sigourney Weaver) has debuted online. But, as many have already noted, the film takes on a lighter, frothier, shriller tone than its source material. "The book has a comic edge to be sure. This much of one? It didn't read that way to me but Colette's prose is a flexible beauty," is what Nathaniel R. of Film Experience says. And Guy Lodge from In Contention: "I’m still a little uncertain of the brittle, faintly campy comic tone present here — Colette’s novella (which I’ll get into when our Page to Screen series begins) is a rather more delicate, melancholy animal. But it looks like a classy outing all round. We’ll see." Both reckon this appeals more in the vein of "Mrs. Henderson Presents" than "Dangerous Liaisons." Lodge recalls that this is, indeed, a Miramax film, and they're never ones to restrain themselves from painting their subtler material with a broader marketer's brush - citing "Happy-Go-Lucky" as an example of that. Maybe this is because of the heavy backlash that similarly glossy British upper-crust period drama "Atonement" experienced, with Miramax deciding they don't want to be seen as beating a dead horse.

From Amazon, via Awards Daily:
Chéri is a classic story of a love affair between a very young man and a charming older woman. The amour between Fred Peloux, the beautiful gigolo known as Chéri, and the courtesan Léa de Lonval tenderly depicts the devotion that stems from desire, and is an honest account of the most human preoccupations of youth and middle age. With compassionate insight Colette paints a full-length double portrait using an impressionistic style all her own.
The film is fronted by Pfeiffer supplemented by the indomitable Kathy Bates ("Revolutionary Road," "Titanic" - she's got period down pat) and Rupert Friend, and is to be released in theaters on June 19th. Expect to see it make the awards rounds early next year in the costume departments, but perhaps maybe the acting ones as well, maybe picture, maybe director?

Cheri: "Isn't She Lovely?" or could she be looking better? (Supposed to be a Stevie Wonder reference. Kinda stretching it a little.)

TRAILER from: Awards Daily

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