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Sunday, November 28, 2010

Loss Of A Teardrop Diamond (2009)

Set in Tennessee in the 1920s, a headstrong and willful wealthy Southern belle (Bryce Dallas Howard) ill suited for provincial Memphis society falls in love with the poor son (Chris Evans) of an alcoholic father and insane mother. Based on an unpublished 1957 screenplay by Tennessee Williams, the film is ill served by the uninspired direction of Jodie Markell. Williams is one of the great American playwrights of the 20th century, but this piece lacks the poetry and imagery of his greatest works. I don't know if Williams considered the screenplay finished but it seems incomplete, a work in progress that needed tweaking and refining. Only in one scene does it come alive, when Howard is confronted by the stroke ridden aunt (Ellen Burstyn) of her best friend (Mamie Gummer, EVENING). Maybe if it had been directed by Elia Kazan in 1957 and with, say, Carroll Baker or Joanne Woodward in the lead role it might have worked. Evans is a supremely uninteresting actor and unworthy of Howard's character's passion. With Ann-Margret (wasted), Will Patton and Jessica Collins who's very good.

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