Opening this weekend, The Chaperone is the story about somebody who is not the center of attention, yet is an individual who keeps many disparate people together. Norma (Elizabeth McGovern) is a reliable individual. She is married to Alan Carlisle (Campbell Scott) who is a public figure in Kansas and they are patrons of the arts. While catching a dance recital featuring Young Louise Brooks (Haley Lu Richardson), Backstage, Mother Brooks asks Norma to chaperone Young Louise to New York City to take dance classes with the Denishawn Academy.
While The Chaperone could divert attention to the legendary silent screen star Louise Brooks, director Michael Engler keeps the focus on the title character. We learn that Norma was an orphan from the big city raised by nuns and relocated to Kansas. Married young, Norma confronts secrets from her past and current domestic woes. For Norma, chaperoning Louise Brooks is the least of her problems.
Given her Oscar-nominated role as the wild Evelyn Nesbit from Ragtime, released 38 years ago, Elizabeth McGovern shines as straitlaced Norma. She is the eye of the hurricane and the two performances, nearly four decades apart, bookend McGovern’s underrated talent as an actress. The Chaperone is good drama that celebrates good deeds under pressure.
On a more expansive note, Game of Thrones opens its final season this Sunday evening. While people are binge watching the previous seven seasons, Savor Cinema (503 SE 6 St., in Ft. Lauderdale) plans a season premier party starting at 7:30 p.m. Perhaps an evening of debauchery would be a more accurate description since flagons of ale, barrels of wine, Wildfire shots and Lannister turkey legs, and other dragon dishes, will be consumed within the John Mager Courtyard. Dress Gothic chic. Free parking at the courthouse garage. Sundays meters are free too. Party tickets: $20 FLIFF Members/$25 non-members, includes complimentary drinks and food!
Watching television shows in movie theaters is nothing new. When M*A*S*H ended its 11 year broadcast run on the CBS Network in February 1983, parties were held and people went to civic centers to watch the final episode.
Yet, it is fascinating how small-screened television is driving the markets for big screened entertainment.
Speaking of big screen, the biggest screen in the land, Museum of Discovery and Science – IMAX’s 6-story-high screen has already sold-out screenings of Avengers: Endgame, which opens in two weeks. However, there are some great documentaries that will be playing on the big screen, most notably Great Bear Rainforest and Great Barrier Reef. For those in search of more quieter dramas, check out The Chaperone this weekend.