The Cat's Meow Reviews
An enjoyable little tale about a Hollywood scandal that was swept under the rug in its day. Lots of interesting performances here, though I still can't decide if I actually like Kirsten Dunst as an actress or not.
Definitely worth a look.
The abounding witty repartee appears the order of the day...but deceit and deception are also on the menu.
also stars James Laurenson, Ronan Vibert and Claudie Blakley.
directed by Peter Bogdanovich.
In celebration of sucessful Hollywood multi-talent, Thomas H. Ince's birthday, wealthy newspaper owner and former politician William Randolph Hearst takes takes Ince, his friends, his mistress, newpaper journalists and Charlie Chaplin on a cruise in his yacht. But when the playboy Charlie puts the moves on Hearst's mistress, Marion Davies, an unfortunate event will arise. It's kinda wrong to say this movie is based on a true story because, mysteriously, no one talked about the details to the press. It was a murder where no one was arrested and no one was inspected by the police. This event gave Hollywood its fantasy scar of having power over the law. As strange of an event this movie portrays, it could have gone into a more significant angle and raised some intellectual themes and questions. But what this movie does provide are some great performances, especially from Kirsten Dunst who at an early age shifts from teenage star to highlight performance of the movie. Dunst adds a lot of depth to an unkindly portrayed character. We also see some great acting from Eddie Izzard as Chaplin, Edward Herrmann as Hearst, Cary Elwes as Ince and Jennifer Tilly as a silly but fierce news reporter.
Director Peter Bogdanovich does a well enough job as director in this complicated murder mystery. It begins with a narroration of one of the reporters and guests on the cruise and sets the mood quite well. But the mood kind of breaks after a while, and frankly nothing really significant happens in the middle of the movie. As a matter of fact it just looks like the actors playing dress-up. But rest assure, the suspence builds up quite well as we prepare ourselves to witness the eventual murder that plays out like a horrible fate. But I don't want to insult the costume designers, by all means. This movie looks quite authentic, though we're only restricted to seeing the world of the '20s only in a yacht. But what we see in the yacht is quite impressive, and everyone's costumes look fashionable and stunning. The cinematography in this movie plays extremely well off its claustrophobic and retro enviroment which adds a colourful feel of the '20s and a eerie feel as well.
It's not a great recreation of the real life events, and it may have been a little sillier than needed. But if you don't know this story than it will sure keep your attention, even after the deed is done. Kirsten Dunst gives one of her best performances and plays very well with the rest of her cast. The Cat's Meow is a little interesting piece of history that is is definitely worth a look.
What could have been a great movie wasn't because though it was set in the 1920's there was nothing roaring about it. 20 minutes of fluff, unnecessary non-omissions from the true event, and sadly a poor casting and no development of Hearst.
No-one who saw this movie knows who Hearst was and since he was a HUGE part of the story they should have told us more. Why is he so crazy, why is he so powerful, what is his affection to Marion Davies.
Chaplin is Chaplin, we all know him. Davies was explained as the up and comer and a serious blond bombshell. Hearst needed to be explained more. Otherwise why should we care.
This is a very good movie for those interested in Hollywood history, true, untold or rumor-filled. What this movie does show is that Dunst can act (though I am not a fan), Elwes and Izzard are very underrated and that Tilly deserves more credit. I think she is handicapped with her voice and looks, but she is a great actress.