I've never been a big fan of Robert Altman films, but I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed this gem of a movie, and once again, I have to thank Bob for introducing me to another great film.
Synopsis: The "Disciples of James Dean" (a fan club) meet up on the 20th anniversary of his death and mull over their lives in the present and in flashback, revealing the truths behind their complicated lives. Who is the mysterious Joanne and what's the real story behind Mona's son, James Dean Junior?
My thoughts and observations on this film:
- I'm actually devising this entry on October 4, and two interesting things have happened since I've seen this film that made me think about it:
- Marta Heflin, who played Edna Louise in the film, died, and
- Mia Farrow's recent claim that Frank Sinatra might be her son Ronan's father reminded me of the character Mona's insistence that Jimmy Dean was the father of her child.
- I enjoyed seeing "the 1975 versions" of Cher, Karen Black, and Kathy Bates.
- This movie was way ahead of its time with a transgender character in it.
- These are some of the themes explored in this movie that come to my mind:
- Keeping up appearances
- Hopes and dreams
- Staying in, or getting away from, small towns
- Mental illness
- Homosexuality and gender variance
- Shared passion about famous people contextually situated in a fan club
- The veracity (or not) of the notion that "You can't go home again"
As I said, I'm "two thumbs up" on this movie, for sure.