Tuesday, 2 August 2011

“My One And Only”. A Review of the 2009 Film Now Released On A 2011 BLU RAY.

"…In Every Pack…There’s A Leader…"

In some ways "My One And Only" is a real throwback to old-fashioned filmmaking. It's a story that deliberately takes its own sweet time to unfold - characters make big mistakes, recover begrudgingly, then grow some and move on. It's about a family that's close-knit but also in turmoil - and all of this is set against a backdrop of beautiful Fifties American small town/big city scenery and socially changing times…

Renee Zellweger plays Anne Devereaux - a glamorous New York mum who leaves her feckless bandleader husband George after one too many of his on-the-road affairs and the royalties to his National hit “My One And Only” have begun to wither (a hugely likeable and capable Kevin Bacon). With wildly out-of-place optimism, she cheerfully bundles her two teenage sons (Logan Lerman and Mark Rendall) into her ludicrously flashy Coupe De Ville car (which she’s just paid $2,500 for) and hits the road for Pittsburgh - and eventually - the bigger glam of Hollywood. But of course along the way, Anne only manages to flit from one relationship disaster to another – with just her beauty, class and innate belief in herself keeping her head above water and her restless kids out of poverty (and even jail).

One of the men she meets and woos is Chris Noth who plays a nice-at-first army-man who is lonely and quickly smitten. But as the relationship unfolds, Harlan increasingly becomes Mister Rules and Regulations – eventually turning into a very nasty piece of work indeed. It’s a real departure for Noth from his Mr. Big character in Sex & The City, but man is he good at it (dialogue above).

But the film firmly belongs to Zellweger who is absolutely superlative throughout in a way she hasn't been for a long time - ably assisted by a talented supporting cast who are given material that makes everyone shine. Zellweger gives her Anne a beating heart – fun one moment - destroyed the next - digging down deep to find that inner strength to go on. You root for her – bleed for her – and eventually smile at her sheer American tenacity. This movie sees Renee as a great actress rather than just a good one.

"My One And Only" is a proper journey movie - and because it's steeped in Fifties period architecture and clothing - it looks fantastic on BLU RAY. Scene after scene is filled with that old-world grit, glamour and gorgeous detail. And on it goes to a surprising twist at the end that you genuinely don't see coming.

A bit of a 2011 sleeper on the rental and purchase market, I liked "My One And Only" a great deal and would watch it again. I'd say give this little charmer a chance...I think you'll be more than pleasantly surprised.

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