Review: The Chaperone

Title: The Chaperone
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Director: Michael Engler
Starring: Elizabeth McGovern, Haley Lu Richardson, Géza Röhrig
Runtime: 1 hr 43 mins

What It Is: Based on the book written by Laura Moriarty. This film shows us the beginning of silent film star Louise Brooks’ (Richardson) career. As she’s accepted into a dance academy in New York City she needs to be chaperoned. Norma (McGovern) lives in Kansas with Brooks’ family and volunteers to go on this trek with the young future starlet. Once they arrives we get to know the woman who revolutionized fashion and hair in her time and can be seen as the originator of the “flapper” look popular in the roaring ’20s.

What We Think: So even though this struggles to coherently assess the life it hopes to explain it is otherwise a very good film. Louise Brooks is such a favorite of mine that I automatically knew what was going on in this film. Haley Lu Richardson continues to be an absolute marvel. There’s a level of difficulty in truly understanding and pulling off a role like Louise Brooks. She does it with such ease McGovern is her equal and she’s an absolute surprise. While the film doesn’t always hit the ball long in the acting department it’s good enough. Even if Géza Röhrig comes of somewhat stilted. That might be the language barrier? Rohrig is Hungarian after all. Whatever it is he’s rather difficult to watch.

Our Grade: B-, This particular film hasn’t been receiving many great reviews but I enjoyed the hell out of it. Its sense of time and place are both correct and nicely done. I can tell you when this movie occurs and where. Finding the film shouldn’t be too difficult almost everyone has access to PBS’ Masterpiece Theatre. So do I recommend it? Yes, yes I do. Check it out if for no other reason then the fantastic performance, once again, from Haley Lu Richardson.