I have a had a life-long love of the arts; enjoying theatre, ballet, art and movies. We are all time poor and have limits to our entertainment budget so I hope an honest review will help make your choices easier.
Louise Brooks (Haley Lu Richardson) at 15 years of age is a budding dancer keen to find fame and escape her small town life. She is very beautiful and not afraid to use that and her abundant charm to grease the wheels and entice men to fund her lifestyle. Norma (Elizabeth McGovern), best known for her role as Cora the Countess of Grantham in Downton Abbey, is middle-aged, traditional and conservative. However, she is also keen to escape 1922 Wichita and a life that has proved to be sham.
So these two women of different generations, escape to New York. Initially at odds with each other, they soon discover commonality in both their life traumas and dreams. While a bond is formed between them, this is not a film purely about female friendship. Rather, it explores the complexity of all kinds of relationships, the impact of family failures and secrecy, and the capacity of individuals to adapt and seek out a version of love and success that works for them.
Both Richardson playing Brooks and McGovern playing Norma gave outstanding performances; both capturing the essence of the era and the complexity of emotional drivers behind their characters. As with many period films, the setting, costumes, and sensibility lend incredible charm to the story. However, it is was the subtle humour and heart warm journeys of self-discovery, strategically woven throughout, that made this film a success.
This is the perfect film for a girls day out, or a lovely catch up with family—perhaps a Mother's Day. The Chaperone set for release on April 25 is rated PG and runs for 108 minutes.