This week's Heroine of the Weekend is a little different. A few weeks ago I couldn't sleep, so I turned on TCM late at night and found Wyler's Wuthering Heights, which I love. Yay!! The consolations of insomnia. Then, in a double feature, they played a movie I had never seen--Devotion, a nominal bip-pic of the Brontes. The Brontes are great heroines of mine, so that means the movie is our topic today.
From the very beginning, as the credits rolled, this film looked promisingly terrible, one of those incomprehnsibly bad-idea movies that are huge fun to watch, and it lived up to that promise. From bizarre casting (Ida Lupino as the eccentric, fragile Emily! Olivie de Havilland as Charlotte! Paul Heinreid--!!!--as Rev. Arthur Nicholls! With Austrian accent intact!), to strange scenes, (the impoverished clergymen's daughters showing up at a grand ball--!!!--in elaborate gowns it must have taken the costume department weeks to make; Emily bounding over the strangely sunny moors with her gorgeously groomed dog, her 1940s coif perfectly still in the breeze; tiny coughs to denote raging tuberculosis; Branwell looking terribly clean and neat as he lolls drunk in the gutter). I also loved the stilted, ridiculous dialogue (Emily pointing to a house and declaring portentously, "I call it---Wuthering Heights!). It. Was. Fabulous. One of the silliest movies I have ever seen. I laughed my head off.
It did have some redeeming features. Those gowns, though wildly inaccurate for the Brontes', were beautiful, and the sets were gorgeous and atmospheric, as was the Korngold score. You can see a review of it here.
This afternoon I'm taking a break from the deadline to see a bio-pic I hope is much better, Bright Star.