The Cat’s Meow (2001)

2007 #92
Peter Bogdanovich | 109 mins | DVD | 12 / PG-13

The Cat's MeowPossibly-true ‘murder mystery’ set in 1920s Hollywood.

As with the similar Gosford Park, the point lies less in plot and more in characterisation — there are some good performances, especially from Eddie Izzard, Joanna Lumley and Edward Herrmann, though Kirsten Dunst seems a bit flat in comparison. The era’s style suits her though, and the whole period is beautifully evoked; for my money the prettiest scenes are the black & white bookends.

Sadly the similarity to Gosford Park is the film’s main shortcoming: once realised, it’s clear that The Cat’s Meow doesn’t have the same subtle complexity in its story or performances. In its own right, though, there’s much to like.

3 out of 5

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