The Chaperone -- the first theatrical release from PBS Masterpiece -- will have only a limited theatrical release. That's unfortunate, because I think this film has the potential to help swell the ranks of Brooks' many fans. It should also draw new readers to Laura Moriarty's novel of the same name, on which the film is based.
The Chaperone opens March 29th in New York City. It opens on April 5th in Los Angeles, and then in other select cities throughout April and May. Those cities include Washington D.C., Atlanta, San Francisco, and Portland, Oregon. It also opens in April in Philadelphia, a city mentioned in the film. One city also mentioned in the film where no opening date has yet been set (at least according to the film's website as of today) is Wichita, Kansas -- Brooks' hometown and the setting for some of the early and late scenes in the film. The cities and theaters where the film is set to open can be found at www.thechaperonefilm.com I encourage everyone to check whether The Chaperone is showing in a theater near them.
Much has been made about the connections between The Chaperone and Downton Abbey, the wildly popular PBS series. It's been something I've been talking about (see this 2012 Film International interview) and blogging about (see this 2013 Louise Brooks Society blog) for more than a few years. The film's website www.thechaperonefilm.com reveals even more.
|The Chaperone audiobook,|
read by Elizabeth McGovern
Eventually, McGovern approached Downton Abbey screenwriter Julian Fellowes, who had his own connection to Louise Brooks through his mother. According to www.thechaperonefilm.com, Fellowes recalled, “When my mother was a girl, she used to be mistaken for Louise Brooks, because, in those days, with silent pictures, nobody knew what their voices were like. So, the fact that my mother was English didn’t put fans of the real Louise Brooks off. After a bit, she started signing autographs as if she were Brooks." [See the previous blog for other candidates for the Louise Brooks look-alike hall of fame.]
Fellowes added, "I am very interested by Louise Brooks, who is the central character in both the book and the film. She was a silent film star and rather unusual .... She wasn’t just a kind of Hollywood cutie. She was rather more than that. So, I became very intrigued by this idea of tracing her origins."
Fellowes' efforts in tracing Brooks' origins are affecting. The Chaperone should be of interest to fans of Downton Abbey. Besides its website, there is also a Facebook page and Twitter account and Instagram account to follow the latest on this new film release.