A delightful drama,
Somewhere between identifiable conventionalism and unconventional
realism is the emotional tone that encompasses The Loss of a Tear Drop
Diamond. It is sort of contrived but not too incredible and
surprisingly heart warming. Although at times it can be equally heart
chilling. Either way, you enjoy the feeling, without loving the movie,
but it makes it a descent watch.
We are introduced to Fisher: the spoiled, self-obsessed daughter of a
rich plantation owner, who is locally disliked. Fisher herself is not
fond of the community but she attends parties whenever she can. She is
is in search of a new escort, so she turns to Jimmy, the son of
Tennessee's former governor. A poor boy who looks after his drunk
father and sick mother, while Fishers only concern is to make sure she
looks good with a man by her side.
We come two expect two things at this point: One, Fisher as a character
will grow up, and get a heart, and two, she and Jimmy will fall in
love. By the end, it does happen, but not in the spectacular fashion
one might expect. Indeed one good quality The Loss of a Teardrop
Diamond is that it is not predictable. This is not the product of a
conventional writer or a studio voice, it is the product of Tennesse
William's one of America's great play writes, whose script for this
must have been shelved for decades collecting dust before it was
embraced. Now it feels fresh as ever.
The movie is not so much driven by plot as much as it is by a movie
stealing, fiery performance from Bryce Dallas Howard. She pulls the
strings of the audience as well as any good director can. We hate her
when we are supposed to hate her, and we love her when we are supposed
to lover her. She also does a sensational job of acting with her face,
which brings me to another effective quality of the movie. It is
beautiful, rich and luscious, with every shot dressed up nicely. Even
the diamonds on Fisher's dress sparkle so brilliantly, you might find
yourself flirting with the question of whether any digital effects were
used. I've certainly never seen a sunrise as golden as it does here.
If there is a problem with the movie, it needs a little more time to
invest in characters outside of Fisher. As a romance, the movie is
questionable, not so much because of cheap filmaking, but because of a
deliberate decision to keep things a bit distant. In fact, The Loss of
a Teardrop Diamond when all is said and done, is more of a drama than a
romance, like William's masterpiece A Street Car Named Desire.
This one has a far happier outcome than Street Car, and I will be among
the few to say it but, I found it more agreeable. The Loss of A Tear
Drop Diamond is crafted nicely, with a little room for improvement, but
it is easily recommendable. It is strangely delightful.
Surprising, interesting, with an excellent cast and a wonderful dramatic feel
For those of us who don't get to the theater much and depend on the
cinema for our acting thrills, this film is just downright fun. The
fact that it got made in this century is a pleasant and amusing
surprise. Like "An Education", this film features a few strong unknown
cast that are outstanding. It also features phenomenal stars Ellen
Burstyn and Ann-Margret in wonderful, surprising cameos. Chris Evans
shines-has their been a sexier role for a young actor? Bryce Dallas
Howard is a wonder, and really pulls off a very demanding leading place
in this film. Now blink you eyes and the plot takes you to a movie
experience from before 1950. But that is exactly what is so fun.
Southern style romance, twisted identical twins, dead bodies up the
stairs-it is also somewhat predicable but very lovingly portrayed. I
really like this film, exactly because I love the experience of pulling
up to a movie theater on a cold winter night a getting the same good
time my parents did in their day-a warm, sweet and somewhat bitter
romance with a clear sense of time and place.
Don't go to this film expecting fireworks. Go for movie magic served
Southern style by actors who are real and very good. This is what
entertainment is about, and unfortunately it is a lost art these days.