Cinema Sips is exploring a set of films over the coming weeks which feature some incredible female performances. The subject of sex workers is a complex one, but for the purposes of this blog, we’ll just be talking about the movie portrayals (while enjoying copious cocktails of course). Kicking things off is Klute (Disc/Download), a 1970s thriller starring Jane Fonda and Donald Sutherland.
Something I’ll never understand is the popularity of Fonda’s 70s haircut. It’s almost as though her character Bree thinks this unflattering shag can protect her from even further mistreatment by the men in her life. There’s the pimp, played by Roy Scheider, plying her with drugs and lies. There’s the cop, played by Sutherland, who could maybe be a love interest, if he had any kind of personality or charm whatsoever. There’s the stalker, who likes to play tape recordings of their “session” and creep on her throughout the film. Honestly the only decent guy in this is the little old man who wants her to dress in a sparkly evening gown and drink wine. Klute is an interesting time capsule of Manhattan in the 1970s, and you really feel Bree’s struggle as an actress and model, professions where success seems largely arbitrary. At least with her other job, she has some control.
But let’s go back for a second to that scene with the sparkly evening gown. In sequins poured over her body like a second glove, Jane Fonda looks fierce, formidable, and sexy as hell. This is a woman of power. Let’s celebrate her with this Ruby Manhattan.
2 oz Bourbon
3/4 oz Ruby Port
1 bar spoon Maple Syrup
Dash of Angostura Bitters
Luxardo Maraschino cherry
Combine first four ingredients in a mixing shaker with ice. Stir until chilled and combined, then strain into a glass. Garnish with Luxardo Maraschino cherry.
Jane Fonda’s research with actual sex workers comes through in this Academy Award-winning performance, one full of both vulnerability and strength. I’m still not sure why the film was called Klute; clearly it should have been Bree. After all, it’s her world– the rest of us are just lucky to visit. Cheers!