Kit Marlowe Speaks / TOF: Impromptu

Kit Marlowe makes a visit over at JoJo’s Book Corner today where she reads from The Mangrove Legacy and gives away prizes including an exclusive mug! This is all part of the building excitement for Authors After Dark where Kit and I and a whole host of lovely writers will be converging on Philadelphia for various high jinks this August.

Tuesday’s Overlooked Film:

 Impromptu is a fave of mine: I’ve used it in the “Writers in Motion” course which examines films about the writing life and how it gets romanticized. But sometimes you really want that romanticism: if only life were as breezy and entertaining as this film. The dull slog of the writing life wouldn’t make for a gripping film, but we do get hints of the work — and its cost — here. The iconic iconoclast George Sand, born Amantine Aurore Lucile Dupin and later becoming Baroness Dudevant, here played by the always engaging Judy Davis, struggles with her writing and her relationships. Because the film focuses on her relationship with Chopin (Grant), her trouser-wearing breakthrough and tempestuous relationship with poet Alfred de Musset (played with real brio by Patinkin) are already in the past. A big part of Alfred’s contempt has to do with the amount she’s able to write, which he dismisses as just “regurgitation” of her life. As someone who’s been sneered at for writing “too much” I guess I feel a lot of sympathy for George.

The heart of the movie is the hilarious visit to the country by all the Parisian artists. Emma Thompson shines as the ambitious Duchess D’Antan who, marooned in the provinces, seeks to bring the glitterati to her. Along with Sand and Chopin, she imports painter Eugene Delacroix (played with laconic humor by Ralph Brown) and of course composer Franz Liszt (Julian Sands at his best) and his amour, the disgraced Countess D’Agoult. Peters is just perfect as the unhappy and envious Marie, who seeks to poison everyone else’s happiness.

It’s not great art, but it’s charming fun. There’s a little too much of the strong-woman-must-seek-weak-man motif (I’m sure some do, but most strong women I know like strong men), but for the most part Sarah Kernochan‘s script will keep you amused and make you envy the writer’s life. If only!

Hop on over to Todd’s blog for the full list!