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My Devil wears Primark
The Devil Wears Prada (DVD)
Member Name: allybally
The Devil Wears Prada (DVD)
Advantages: Witty commentary on today's society
Disadvantages: It speaks the truth much more than it should
I fought of the urge to see this film for a long time as like Andy, I felt no connection with the world of fashion and trend and felt sure I would be bored senseless by an endless parade of ultra-thin models and mean stylists. It wasn’t until flipping through the movie channels while home in Canada that I stumbled across this and faced with little alternative decided to give it a chance.
Director: David Frankel
Actors: Anne Hathaway, Meryl Streep, Stanley Tucci, Simon Baker, Adrian Grenier, Emily Blunt
Cinema release date: October 2006
Genre: Comedy/Drama with a hint of romance
Run Time: 109 minutes
DVD RRP: £19.99 Amazon: £5.47
Availability: HMV, Virgin, WHSmith, Woolworths… you name it, they’ve got it
What is it all about
New York: The city of all things fashion. Here, journalism under-graduate Andrea Sachs swallows her pride and takes a job at Runway fashion Magazine working as the (second) PA to Miranda Priestly, the extremely sophisticated and extremely frightening Editor in Chief.
Andy, the New Yorker who missed the fashion bug completely when it came around, rubs Miranda the wrong way with her un-tailored wardrobe and inability to fetch her Starbucks in time until a final showdown convinces Andy to take a different approach. Faced with the challenge of keeping a job that could lead to other journalistic avenues of a more serious nature, and with the help of her new and unlikely friend, wardrobe stylist, Nigel, Andy emerges with a new image and a fighting spirit. Slowly, she begins to gain the respect of her boss and begins to settle into the new and unfamiliar world of lettuce leaves and laxatives.
However, will this temporary job that was only meant to be a gateway to the serious journalistic job Andy once craved suck her in? Will she sacrifice her ethics to become accepted into a world she used to despise? In gaining her bosses respect and confidence will the “New Andy” lose that of her family, friends and boyfriend Nate? Will Andy learn there is a different side to the apparently shallow and cruel world of fashion?
Oh the questions!
Who is David Frankel?
David is a native New Yorker and perhaps that lies behind his success with this film. This coupled with the fact that he is the son of former executive editor of the New York Times, made him well-placed to understand the world that we are introduced to in The Devil Wears Prada.
Until now, most of this Harvard Graduate’s work has been in TV comedy production with projects like the recent Entourage and Sex in the City and on a different scale the critically acclaimed series, Band of Brothers. His success with The Devil Wears Prada however, has established his name securely within the world of Feature Film and with a film due out in 2008 (Marley and Me) I am sure we can expect to see more of him in the future.
How was the story/script?
I was expecting Chick Flick material will little substance to the script. I was wrong. This film had much more substance, not only than most “Chick Flick’s” but than many films that are coming out today. What I loved about the script was that it didn’t need to try to hard to set the scene, it just happened.
The interaction between characters and their dialogue was impressive and made for a good, natural flow to the film. It would have been easy to rely purely on the nastiness of Miranda’s character and the fabulously cutting one-lines she has, but instead the scriptwriter’s were careful to balance this out across the board. Each character’s humour was given a characteristic to show that the others didn’t have. The first PA’s was Catty, Andy’s was smart, Nate’s was lovable, Nigel’s was sarcastic and so on. This brought a wonderful element of freshness to the film.
I was also pleased that (although I confess I did cry – again) the soppy bits were not overly soppy. To avoid risking falling into the cheesy category, the more sentimental scenes were peppered with wit and were kept brief instead of being dragged out as they often are in films.
The script is what made this film more than a standard Rom/Com and should be applauded for it.
How was the acting?
I had never seen Anne Hathaway in anything other than a strapless dress on a random red carpet so was intrigued to see what she had to offer. I was amazed by not only her incredible natural beauty, but also by her open and honest performance. It is clear Ms Hathaway is not afraid of making a fool of herself, or of taking herself to seriously which is refreshing. Also refreshing was her sense of comedic timing which isn’t always evident in female actors (I know I will get skinned for that comment). She fed well off her co-actors and responded effortlessly and her range of facial expressions, which in itself may not sound as important as it is, was spectacular.
Meryl Streep has reminded us all of her brilliance with this film. Not only is she the epitome of growing old gracefully she is a perfect example of why older (by Hollywood standards) actresses should be given more roles. I found myself waiting for her next scene like a child waiting to open a brightly wrapped birthday present. The coldness of her character left me with an icy feel and yet, she was still able to convey the traces of humanity, kindness and warmth that were there all the time. I could watch this woman peeling potatoes on screen and love it.
Another stellar performance was put in by Stanley Tucci as Nigel. What an interesting and diverse career Ticci has had and Nigel is certainly another string to be added to his bow. Nigel’s controlled and focused manner in this film still told the story of a man that has put up with some amount of bull in the industry. His character is the solid rock of the film carefully balancing everyone out. His role is quite clearly pivotal and I loved that we got to see the control slip, if only slightly to see the vulnerability he has. His chemistry with those he shared the screen with, particularly with Anne Hathaway was fantastic.
Sadly, there wasn’t much room for anyone else to shine with these three characters although Simon Baker played the sneaky possible love interest of Andy well. Well, he looked good with his shirt off anyway. And Arian Grenier, who the director worked with on Entourage played the perfect boyfriend role as well as the part allowed him to and I am sure there were teenage girls everywhere falling in love with him when he came in from the bedroom, hair all messy and sleepy looking to ask Andy to come to bed. Emily Blunt played Miranda’s first assistant well, but I felt like she was a little less subtle than some of the other characters. She would have been perfect for something like Ugly Betty. Her performance evened out towards the end.
How was the cinematography?
There wasn’t too much pressure put on the film as far as cinematography goes. If the set is a mix of beautiful New York, beautiful Paris or beautiful hotels and offices or beautiful model people, it is going to make for a beautiful movie no matter how hard you struggle against it.
I have never seen a film so well co-ordinated. Miranda seemed to match even the furniture, carpets and blinds in most scenes.
I really warmed to this film and was surprised by it’s depth. I wasn’t expecting anything more than a superficial fashion show but was pleasantly surprised. The human aspect of the film was much greater than I could have imagined and in my opinion made the film. Meryl Streep’s performance alone was worth buying this DVD over and over again.
I must confess to having not seen the DVD features so have only listed them below as an extra
1.Audio Commentary by director David Frankel, producer Wendy Finerman and costume designer Patricia Field, screenwriter Aline Brosh-McKenna, editor Mark Livolsi, and director of photography Florian Ballhaus
2. 6 featurettes
3. 15 deleted scenes
3. Gag reel
5. Theatrical trailer
I bet you didn’t know…
1. Nominated for several awards including 5 BAFTA’s and 2 Oscar’s - one of which it won
2. Helen Mirren was considered for the role of Miranda Priestly.
3. Gisele Bündchen only agreed to be in the film on the condition that she didn’t play a model.
4. Stanley Tucci was given the role only after Daniel Sunjata decided to read for the part of designer Holt instead as he had just come from a similar role in another film.
5. Valentino designed the gown Meryl Streep wears to the museum benefit and makes a cameo appearance.
Summary: Andy is introduced to the cut-throat fashion worl. Will she survive it or join in?