There’s a certain nobility to movies from the fifties, and Pulitzer-prize-winning playwright Tennessee Williams’ work iconized the classic fifties drama. Many of his works became famous film: “A Streetcar Named Desire” won four Oscars and featured Marlon Brando and Vivien Leigh in all their glory, “The Glass Menagerie” starred Jane Wyman and Kirk Douglas, and “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” had acting greats Elizabeth Taylor and Paul Newman. So with the trailer out for “The Loss of a Teardrop Diamond” — the “lost screenplay” from Tennessee — one would assume it would fit well into this list of great films.
The problem is that cinema has evolved over the past 50 years, making what worked well with Brando and Elizabeth Taylor look silly when it is emulated by Bryce Dallas Howard and Chris Evans. Even the style of the trailer — attempting to draw on the trailer styles of the fifties — doesn’t work well in today’s context. In fact, it almost feels like a spoof trailer you’d see on FunnyOrDie.com.
But even in today’s day and age, it’s hard to judge how good a film will be by its trailer, and in all likelihood “The Loss of a Teardrop Diamond” will be much better and have much more depth than the two and a half minute trailer implies.
Then there’s the talent that’s involved. This is director Jodie Markell’s sophomore effort, with her debut coming out more than 10 years ago. And while Elizabeth Taylor had “Cleopatra” and Newman had “The Hustler” to look forward to a few years after their Tennessee Williams films, Bryce has “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse” and Chris has “Scott Pilgrim vs. The World.” We’re just saying.
Granted, Bryce is a great actress in her own right, and maybe Chris will do more than hang around with his mouth open. But much of what made Hollywood’s golden age so golden 50 years ago doesn’t exist anymore, and it’s hard to imagine that this film will stand up to the Tennessee Williams adaptations that have come before it.
After watching the trailer, do you plan to see “Teardrop Diamond”?