|December 30, 2009|
|Screen Media Films|
Rated PG-13 for some sexuality and drug content
|The Loss Of A Teardrop Diamond
From beyond the grave, Tennessee Williams delivers a tale of young love between different social classes. Bryce Dallas Howard plays the part of spoiled Fisher Willow (originally slated for Lindsay Lohan before her metaphorical blacklisting). Fisher is self indulgent and strangely confident as the outsider of the upper class. In attempt to appear more desirable, Fisher approaches Jimmy (Chris Evans), son of an alcoholic who works for the Willow family. Fisher falls in love with Jimmy, but her bravo is much more than Jimmy can handle, even as he tries to play her for her status, and when a “teardrop diamond” goes missing and Jimmy is blamed, their new-found relationship is strained.
Swept under the rug since 1957, Williams’ The Loss Of A Teardrop Diamond comes to life. Staying true to the original screenplay, The Loss Of A Teardrop Diamond ventures into territory that other films and directors would probably be unwilling to enter into, especially with the use of stage play conventions (phantom spotlights, minimal change of locations and sets, etc.). The Loss Of A Teardrop Diamond is a gorgeous film, especially in the night scenes where the couple admires the levee on the Mississippi River (which represents so much more since most of her peers hate her due to her father’s indiscretions involving the destroying of the levee to flood competing neighbor’s farms). The film has heart as well, and the scene that stands out most is the desperate pleas of a suffering mother during the film’s “party” scene and Fisher’s choice whether to commit euthanasia.
Both leads fill their parts successfully but really bring nothing to inspire the viewer. Set in the 1920’s, the roles appear to prove challenging for Dallas and Evans. Had the film been set in a more recent era, the duo would probably have completely dominated their roles. Marlon Brando as Stanley Kowalski in Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire (1947) sets the bar far too high for Chris Evans to ever reach, but also shows the potential in Tennessee Williams writing. From that, I believe The Loss A Of Teardrop Diamond had much more potential and simply failed to reach it.
Nothing makes me happier than the producing of works from great writers, even after their posthumous. Though The Loss Of A Teardrop Diamond does not even begin to compare to classics like A Streetcar Named Desire and Cat On A Hot Tin Roof (1955) , the modern display of such an unsung classic really catches the eye and demands at least some respect. Most viewers will question the stage play conventions as the “party” scene drags on for most of the film, but those that invest at least a little of their faith and attention to such a historic writer in Tennessee Williams will respect the venture.