You’ll have to forgive me, but I’m totally obsessed with Frances McDormand. The front-runner for this year’s Academy Award for Best Actress (for her unforgettable role in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri), she’s long been a favorite of mine in films like Friends With Money, and this week’s Cinema Sips pick Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day (DVD/Download). No matter what happens on Oscar night, I think we should all bow down to the woman who has made “telling it like it is” into an artform.
As Guinevere Pettigrew, McDormand speaks simple truths softly. She’s the guiding force ditzy American singer/actress Delysia Lefosse (a campy Amy Adams) desperately needs as she juggles three competing bachelors in 1930’s London. Poor Miss Pettigrew just wants a meal, but she’s too busy playing caretaker and maid to this scatterbrained screwball. The art deco sets and costumes are completely transporting, and understated romance makes this script sparkle like a diamond brooch. Will Miss Pettigrew get her happy ending with Joe the lingerie designer? Have a cocktail and find out.
Although Miss Pettigrew doesn’t drink, she finds it difficult to refuse Delysia’s offer of a cocktail. It’s different, you know. Enjoy this classic libation and see if you can guess which bachelor will win Delysia’s heart in this wacky horserace. While watching Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, I recommend drinking a Silver Screen Gin Fizz.
Silver Screen Gin Fizz
2 oz Gin
1 oz simple syrup
¾ oz Lemon Juice
4-5 dashes grapefruit bitters
1 egg white
Combine first 5 ingredients in a cocktail shaker without ice first, and shake until frothy. Add ice, then shake vigorously until chilled. Strain into a glass, and top with club soda.
This film reminds me so much of wonderful screwball comedies by Preston Sturgess and Howard Hawkes. The dialogue is rapid, the actors look like they’re having the time of their lives, and the costumes make me want to give up my job so I can walk around in satin and fur all day without being ridiculed. I guess I’ll just have to save it for the weekend. Cheers!