Vote and Rate Jamie Clubb's articles and reviews

Friday, 8 August 2014

A Lazy Cat? - Review of "The Cat's Meow"

Marion Davies
Marion Davies (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Cover of "The Cat's Meow"
Cover of The Cat's Meow
 It is 1924, at the height of the jazz age, where the Charlston is all the rage, Prohibition is en force and silent cinema has made Hollywood. On 15 November newspaper publishing magnate W R Hearst (Edward Herrmann) leaves San Pedro, California on a cruise to San Diego with his luxury yacht filled with a veritable who's who of Hollywood. These include his mistress, the up-and-coming actress, Marion Davies (Kirsten Dunst), the world famous comedy actor Charlie Chaplin (Eddie Izzard), the English novelist and scriptwriter Elinor Glyn (Joanna Lumley), Hearst's film critic Louella Parsons (Jennifer Tilly) and movie mogul Tom Ince (Cary Elwes).

The cruise and its onboard partying have all been arranged in honour of Ince's birthday. However, Ince is after a bigger present than a luxury cruise and some cake. His film business has been in steep decline for the past five years and he sees this as his opportunity to convince Hearst to go into partnership with him. Meanwhile Chaplin has his eyes on Hearst's starlet mistress who longs to play comedy roles instead of the stuffy period dramas her lover pushes her into. She and Ince are not the only one trying to climb the ladder to the career of her dreams, as Heart's film critic is desperately trying to get foothold in somewhere.

All the while Elinor Glyn watches. With careers at significant turning points for all concerned, Ince's machinations are set to have life-changing results for most and a life-ending result for one...