Movies: It's De-Pressing!

A new Cole Porter biopic plays the great songwriter's life in a minor key

De-lovely. Such an insouciant and enticing neologism, so perfectly emblematic of Cole Porter, the man who coined it. You enter a movie with that title, prepared to be enchanted. You straggle out a couple of hours later, lost in a fog of gloom. For this film's makers grimly insist that the songwriter's life was essentially a betrayal of his impeccably sophisticated art when they might have more profitably seen his work as a gallant triumph over the difficulties of a messy life.

De-Lovely proceeds from a miscalculated device. A nameless shade (Jonathan Pryce) arrives to conduct the aged, crippled Porter...

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