I love Jeremy Irons. Maria Callas is one of the most fabulous icons in history.
So, I was pretty delighted when my long-time blogging buddy Rachel, over at Da Paura, asked me to review a favorite film of hers, Callas Forever.
The 2002 film focuses on the last days of the beautiful, stylish, and famed opera singer, Maria Callas during the 1970s.
The 53-year-old is struggling with depression and the loss of her iconic voice, but an old friend (Jeremy Irons) tries to bring her success back to life, with the use of new technology and lip-syncing.
European movie star Fanny Ardant is the gem of this film. Her stunning beauty and elegant demeanor bring a middle-aged Maria to life on screen, in the most flattering way possible. She conveys the emotionally distressed opera singer superbly, with as much grace and heartache as she could muster. It is a heart-wrenching performance.
I hate to say it, but Fanny definitely over-shadowed my beloved Jeremy Irons in the film. As the flamboyantly gay music promoter Larry, Jeremy is a little wooden in his performance. But this may be simply because I'm more critical of him, as he is one of my most favorite actors.
No amount of acting in this film, however, could take my eyes off the main star: the fashion. Fanny's wardrobe was entirely provided by Chanel for the film. Her outfits were spectacularly delicious. It is a lustful sight for any fashionista, whether you like the film or not.
Overall, I think Callas Forever is a great watch. It offers an interesting glimpse into the life of a legend who is not very well known today.
The only complaint I have is that this film left me wanting more. Not more of the film, but more of Maria Callas.
I didn't know much about Maria before watching the film, and now I am dying to know her entire life story. I want to buy recordings of her music. I want to pour over photos of the Chanel-clad diva. I want the entire experience.
So, immediately after seeing the film, I ordered a biography of the gorgeous opera singer online. I can't wait to start reading it!
I definitely recommend Callas Forever. Thank you Rachel for the excellent suggestion!