Michelle just shines…

pfeiffer-blogathon3Pfeiffer that is. She has this “freshness” about her that she brings to the screen. And this shines through in the 1989 movie The Fabulous Baker Boys that I’ve given a re-watch because it has Paul’s (Pfeiffer Pfilms and Meg Movies) favourite actress and one of my favourite actors in it. Good excuse huh? Oh…and then there’s the Pfeiffer Blogathon. In honour of her birthday today (29 April 1958).

Jeff Bridges has always been one of my favourite actors. Hence I came across this movie many years back. I’d seen him in Lolly Madonna and Bad Company and wanted to discover more. Back then, there was no media for a quick look at a trailer to see if you might enjoy it. I simply bought this one “blind”. Besides, starring Michelle Pfeiffer and Jeff Bridges, how bad could it be?

Bakerboys2

The story has brothers Jack and Frank Baker (brothers Jeff and Beau Bridges respectively) playing piano duet gigs at various venues, usually those with minimal patrons. Circumstances have them add a female singer to their act…enter Susie Diamond (Michelle Pfeiffer). And what a change…they fill the bars and lounges they play at. But, Susie not only changes the dynamics of the former duo act, she also influences the two brothers…challenges their “status-quo-happy-to-plod-along” approach. And about time as we realise that Jack, who is totally indifferent to his show, needed someone to question how things are done. To wake him up. Even though it takes him a while to do something about his dreams.

220px-FabbakerboyspostMichelle Pfeiffer really is great in this role. She perfectly balances Susie with enough care-free, take me as I am, nonchalant attitude and seriousness. I love how she questions the brothers and their decisions. How she tells them she doesn’t agree with enough attitude that it is short of plain insulting yet makes them, well, at least Jack, notice. I’m not sure what other actress would have fit into this role so well. So naturally. Not to mention her singing. No wonder she was nominated for an Oscar for this one. I didn’t know until last night that The Fabulous Baker Boys was nominated for 4 Academy Award (Best Actress, Best Cinematography, Best Film Editing and Best Music, Original Score).

The cast works well…Jeff and Beau Bridges’s arguments come across realistic, like only siblings could achieve. And the different personalities of the Baker/Diamond team complement each other perfectly. The music is wonderful…I’d love to sit and listen to this any day in a lounge.

Well, both watching it way back then and rewatching it last night, I can’t say this is a very happy, feel-good movie. Realistic…probably. But it leaves the viewer with an almost despondent aftertaste. Despite ending with hope. I’m not saying it is bad…just one of those that you need to be in the mood for watching. Not light escapism viewing, but absolutely worthwhile.

Happy Birthday Michelle Pfeiffer!

PS: How weird…but I’ve just clicked onto the Pfeiffer Pfilms and Meg Movies site to get the URL for the Blogathon and see that we’re on the same page today…Paul has likewise picked this movie (I think…as I haven’t read the post yet…will read it after I’ve finished writing mine). So head on over there now to see what he thinks…The Fabulous Pfeiffer Girl.

 

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13 comments

  1. Classic movie. I’m also a fan of Jeff Bridges and I love him and Michelle together. You can just tell they had a great chemistry between them and they’re both just so damn good looking. I guess it’s unnecessary to ask if you’ve watched Big Lebowski, right? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I LOVE this film! Jeff and Beau are terrific and I love the relationship between the Baker brothers. Michelle delivers one of her best performances and is so funny too. I never knew she could sing before I saw this one, she really has an amazing voice.

    Great story, characters and music. This is a film I never get tired of watching.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This movie is completely pfabulous, for all the reasons you’ve chronicled in your post. It’s always been a pfavourite of mine, almost as much for Jeff and Beau as for Michelle. Pfeiffer’s work is both sultry and superb although I always feel a wisp of sadness in the latter part of the film when Susie leaves and Frank and Jack’s relationship breaks down.
    1989 was a great year for films and Baker Boys was right up there. The humour in this film always hits a spot with me, what with the audition scene, Jeff spraying Beau’s head, then tossing him the can saying “don’t forget your hair,” and Susie’s pithy one-liners. I actually find Baker Boys funnier than a lot of films that are billed as comedies.
    Thanks a lot for getting involved. I was sure you were going to feature The Age of Innocence given that Daniel and Michelle share the same birthday. I’m really happy you chose this pfilm.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. No! What??? Daniel’s birthday is today??? Oh gosh…it is too. Totally missed that (I’m so bad with birthdays). Now I’ll have to write another post on one of my other favourite actors for your Blogathon…he he. I was actually thinking of Age of Innocence at one point but really wanted to see Baker Boys again.
      Back to the topic at hand…you’ve summed up exactly what I couldn’t find words for…and it is so simple now that you say it…a sense of sadness. And yes, the humour, so subtle but perfect keeps this one from being depressing.
      I enjoy watching Frank get all worked up and then even more so when Jack, totally disinterested, doesn’t react. To have Susie come out and say exactly what Jack is thinking but not saying…
      Thanks for hosting this Blogathon. So glad I watched this one again.
      Next year I’ll write on our favourites who share a birthday…

      Liked by 1 person

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