The Fabulous Baker Boys (1989)

STEVE KLOVES

Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB

USA, 1989.  Gladden Entertainment, Mirage, Tobis.  Screenplay by Steve Kloves.  Cinematography by .  Produced by , , .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  Academy Awards 1989.  Golden Globe Awards 1989.  

Wonderful character-driven drama has very little plot but is laden with atmosphere.  and Jeff Bridges play fraternal piano players whose gigs are growing slim in number and whose act is getting stale. They decide that the best way to spiff the party up is to hire a singer, and after a series of painful auditions they come upon sultry, sexy Susie Diamond (Michelle Pfeiffer).  Susie has a potty mouth and a volcanic temper, but when she sings she can light an entire room on fire. Steve Kloves does a great job of making all the little moments in the lives of these near-burnouts feel so interesting and important, especially whenever Pfeiffer squares off with either of her co-stars. The photography by Michael Ballhaus brings the smoky world of nightclubs to life with beauty and intensity, as does David Grusin’s jazzy score. Pfeiffer does her own singing, the most memorable highlight being her crooning “Makin’ Whoopee” in a red dress whilst lying seductively across a grand piano. She has said since making this film that it is her favourite of all the roles she’s played and it’s easy to see why. (Interestingly enough, the role was originally offered to Madonna, who turned it down).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s