Hot Trailers

Christopher Walken.
Christopher Walken.PHOTO: YOUTUBE
Meryl Streep.


This family-centric clip is more like One Eccentric Man And One Really Hot Chick. But in a harmless father-daughter odd- couple way.

Paul (Christopher Walken) is an old-fashioned, former singer about to make a big comeback in a Brave New Hipster World. Jude (Amber Heard) is his untamed daughter who wasted her musical talent, presumably because she looks like a retro flower child stuck in some kind of self-induced rut.

"If I wanted to live vicariously, it wouldn't be through you," Dad assures Daughter. Which is very funny because when you see a Walken movie, you are always living vicariously, since he often looks like a wacko in winter.

Wait a minute. Paul and Jude? Is this what would have happened if Stella McCartney had gone for songs instead of dresses?

This trailer is set up to endear you to the possibility that having Walken as your dad might be amusingly cute, but you sort of feel it can also be inherently creepy when he is doing his patented Walken impersonation.

The original title for this flick was When I Live My Life Over Again. Somebody must have been Walken-loony when he came up with that.


I had no idea such a person existed, but since she is played by Meryl Streep, well, then she must be somebody really good, right?

Evidently no, because back in her heyday of ear-cringing infamy in New York's high society in the 1920s to 1930s, so-called opera singer Jenkins was apparently the William Hung of her day. She was a singer so bad and horrendous that Wikipedia describes her as being "known and ridiculed for her lack of rhythm, pitch and tone... and her generally poor singing ability".

Now, this is a fact which you don't get to experience in this Art Deco trailer of gross excesses, because it doesn't show Streep squawking. Instead, British director Stephen Frears (The Queen, 2006) exhibits her here as an imperiously eccentric force of nature, oblivious to her spectacular lack of talent while being enabled by her stage-actor manager and partner (Hugh Grant).

"If you truly love me, you'll let me sing," she begs the poor chap. I tell you, vaudeville cinema, circa our time, is about Grant looking haplessly hangdog and Streep hanging strenuously from the stage ceiling as a rather heavy angel.

Oh, we know what we are getting here - the kind of comedydrama of jaunty light and lighter which doubles as a relationship film about human foibles and inhuman audio. The Brits, particularly director Frears, truly do this sort of supreme irony so well. After all, they gave us Monty Python and The Queen.

Tay Yek Keak

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 16, 2016, with the headline 'Hot Trailers'. Print Edition | Subscribe