The movie has some of the feel of film noir, capturing the sharp New York/New Jersey cadences of hot shots, tough guys, sexy dames, and mouthy gossip columnists, offset by a smooth jazz and pop song soundtrack.
The latest rendition in an unforgettable exploration of the life, times, and love between Frank Sinatra and Ava Gardner, this film in conjunction with the evening in question, is as heartfelt, and humorous as it is heartrending.
In 1950, a down and out Sinatra pursues a hapless, wild, suspicion filled romance with the sultry Ava Gardner while campaigning for the role of Angelo Maggio in ``From Here to Eternity``; the sole ray of hope in salvaging his career. The steel line of sex and tension is palpable throughout Frank and Ava, the harrowing and heart-stirring Hollywood romance between Frank Sinatra and Ava Gardner. It’s 1949 and Sinatra, the former king of swoon who once enchanted millions of “bobby soxers”, is at the downturn of his career as the once golden “Voice” is now compromised by a hemorrhage to his vocal cords while his reputation is lambasted by the press who parade his alleged Mafia connections, liberal sympathies, and extramarital affairs. In the midst of his despair, he falls hard and fast for Gardner, MGM’s sultry starlet with whom he shares proclivities for passion, whiskey, obstinace, and sexual infidelities. Equal to his desire to maintain the interest of the mercurial Gardner, is his almost sacred infatuation aimed at attaining the role of Private Angelo Maggio in Columbia Picture’s From Here to Eternity, the sole ray of hope in salvaging his career. An acknowledged long shot due to his questionable acting chops and heretofore box office bombs, Sinatra actively campaigns for the role while divorcing his wife, Nancy, and entering a sexually charged, but suspicion-filled marriage with Gardner that is marked by infidelities, Ava’s abortions and Frank’s suicide attempts as their hapless romance is parodied by the press who play them off each other. From Here to Eternity is an ultimate success that will extricate Frank from professional obscurity with his legendary Academy Award win, capping one of the greatest comebacks in Hollywood history, however this attainment is bittersweet. Directed by the recently acclaimed Michael Oblowitz, Frank and Ava was shot on location in Rome, Italy, Hollywood, CA and Sinatra’s Palm Springs home. In addition to introducing Rico Simonini and Emily Elicia Low in the title roles, the film also features Eric Roberts, Lukas Haas, Richard Portnow, Domenick Lombardozzi, Neil Sandilands, Jonathan Silverman, Terry Moore and the legendary Harry Dean Stanton; in his last feature film appearance.
- November 24, 2018