The Legend of F. Scott Fitzgerald's Zelda
I have a habit of getting movies and then afterwards not watching them for a while as I contemplate whether or not it is my sort of thing or not. Sounds stupid yet every movie I get I end up watching eventually which is the case of "Zelda" a look at the troubled relationship between F. Scott Fitzgerald and Zelda Sayre who met in 1918 and married in 1920. That may for a fleeting second sound like I know a thing or two about the Fitzgeralds when in truth I know nothing and as such am admittedly probably not the best person in the world to review "Zelda". Then again maybe it isn't as I am sure I am not alone in my ignorance and it means what I am looking for in this made for TV biopic will be different to fans of Fitzgerald.
As such I had better say but it is plainly obvious I have no idea how accurate "Zelda" is when it comes to the time line, events and portrayal of these people. But what I can say is that "Zelda" presents us with a storyline which skips along and characters that are just right the side of larger than life. But in many ways that is the point of the movie because it is a look at the excessive lives of the Fitzgeralds with his love of alcohol and her love of excitement making it a dangerous match.
I won't go into specifics but what we see is that whilst they inspired each other they also were bad for each other leading each other into destruction through their desires and uncontrollable excess. We get to see how it is fun to start with but eventually their out of control life style took its toll on the both of them with Zelda ending up in a mental institution following the death of F. Scott at just 44.
Now as I said I don't know anything about the real people in this movie but Hutton and Richardson most definitely deliver two exuberant characters. Scenes of their love of excess are full of energy and border on the unbelievable as the show the gay abandon of their characters. But in the case of Richardson she also brings out the fragility of her character showing the aspect of what at times seems a split personality that when not being entertained or taking risks becomes morbid.
What this all boils down to is that even for those who like me know nothing about F. Scott Fitzgerald and Zelda Sayre the made for TV movie "Zelda" is an entertaining look at their rollercoaster relationship. It highlights the issues which were born from their characters being both so right and so wrong for each other with entertaining performances from Natasha Richardson and Timothy Hutton to bring the story to life.