The Cat's Meow (2001)
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Critic Reviews for The Cat's Meow
The strongest achievement of The Cat's Meow may be the performances, especially those of Kirsten Dunst (Davies), Edward Herrmann (Hearst), and even Eddie Izzard (Chaplin).
The '20s-set pic is given considerable bounce by a splendid cast, led by Kirsten Dunst in an eye-opening perf as Marion Davies.
As the story progresses, the tension dissipates, probably because once Bogdanovich has set his wheels in motion, he just lets them spin.
Despite all the closed-door hanky-panky, the film is essentially juiceless.
Audience Reviews for The Cat's Meow
Went for it just because it's based on true events. Turns out it's based on rumors. No problem. Was surprised to learn that Chaplin was so scandalous. The story was not so so-so, but the performances and casting were. Historically, if the given version is correct, it's quite significant in depicting the height of corruption. As to me, I really don't know. If he's shot, why didn't anyone come forward even after Hearst's death? If he wasn't, why the characters involved got a promotion soon after it. It surely was given a touch of a cover up. The movie doesn't tend to explain it, it simply presents (modification of) one of the versions of this mysterious event. Could have been way better.
Gawd this is a boring film. Hearst and Chaplin were probably rolling over in their graves at their portrayals in this film. Neither of them were particularly interesting to hang out with. Kirsten Dunst portrays annoying as no one else can.
Quirky and entertaining, The Cat's Meow is a captivating period film about a fascinating piece of Hollywood lore. Inspired by true events and based on a play, the story attempts to unravel a notorious Hollywood murder that supposedly occurred aboard the yacht of wealthy media tycoon William Randolph Hearst in 1924. Kirsten Dunst, Edward Herrmann, Eddie Izzard, and Cary Elwes form a solid cast and give good performances. Additionally, the makeup and costumes are especially well-done, and give an authentic look and feel to the film. However, the storytelling is poor and gets a little lost in itself. The Cat's Meow is an intriguing murder mystery, but there are some problems with the execution.
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