After an entire week of eratic health issues, I was able to sit up to immerse myself once again in public media and television was one of my first treats. Last night, I sat and watchedmovies on cable. Back to back.
One was "Bernard and Doris" a fable created out of the controversial relationship between Doris Duke, one time richest woman in the world and her irish born butler, Bernard Lafferty.
The movie starring Susan Sarandon and Ralph Fiennes was aired on HBO and with most things that network produces, I told myself that I was not going to miss this. Plus its trailer indicated that it would be my kind of flick and so propped up on the reclining chair and unsuccessfully trying to shut out other sounds, I took a deep breath and began my plough through the movie.
And a plough it was. It started off slow and had I not had a complete and utter devotion to Sarandon and anything she touches, my sock clad feet would have hobbled my exhausted frame away from the living room or my finger would have pressed the forward button to change the channel. Somehow, the director/ writer/whoever-was-responsible-for-the-whole-shebang-in-the-first-place decided early enough what direction the movie was to take and I found myself sitting through to the end.
Sarandon playes Doris Duke, the woman who inherited from her father at the age of thirteen in the early 21st century a fortune totalling close to 100 million in wealth and assets and the film takes place at around the last stage of her life, in her late seventies, when Lafferty is introduced into her life as her butler. This man whose intentions, past and sexuality is debatable to the very end, suddenly rises through the ranks to become her most trusted confidante, so much so that she choses him as a travelling companion on one of her endless worldwide trips that takes up to a year. Upon her death, he is made trustee of her fortune and at the end of the film, you cannot help but ask if that was his intention afterall.
The film shows their relationship completely different from what was actually reported in the press at the time of her death with Lafferty being portrayed as a more siniterious character. Most of scenes were in her home and thus the cast was not expansive but enough to give you some idea of how the woman lived in a world where she trusted no one and where everyone and everything had its price.
Not too bad a flick to see. If it had come out in the theatres, it would have tanked and so HBO was as brilliant ever to present it free on cable. I'd see it again, after I am through with my homework or something.
Grade: C+. I mean, Sarandon is in it and her wardrobe is gorgeous.