Friday, February 12, 2010

My One and Only

At last. George Hamilton has finally given something back to the industry that has nurtured him for so long. My One and Only is a fictionalized account of George's childhood, and while we're not sure when the real story and the fictionalized one diverge, the movie begins when his mother left his father for his bandleader's dalliances with the hired singers, and she takes her two children on the road.

Ann Devereaux is a lot like Blanche DuBois, a Southern belle who depends upon the kindness of strangers and every possible platitude to fit the situation. She's charming, she has feminine wiles, and she's out to find a husband, because in 1953 that's the only security an American woman could possibly have. In many ways, however, as the two boys watch, this strategy fails again and again. Sometimes in a funny way, sometimes in a duck-he's-hitting-me tragic way.

It sounds like one of those female road picture of the '40's, but it's much deeper and more serious than that. One boy is a little on the effeminate side, picturing himself an actor; it's hard to be an actor when you don't stay in any one town, or school, for over a week. And the other boy is George, a serious but sarcastic boy who's smarter than most of the world and really yearns for a normal life.

It's a good screenplay which is dressed by brilliant actors. Renee Zellwegger finally found a part that really fits her. Kevin Bacon, as the husband she leaves, is brilliant once again. The men they meet along their road journey are perfectly cast. And the boys are wonderful.

I heartily recommend My One and Only. Just don't think it's going to be a comedy. There are funny moments along the way, but each person in this story feels their own pain.

Thumbs up.


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