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The Fabulous Baker Boys

Saturday, May 22, 2021 at 4:00 pm

Dir. Steve Kloves. USA, 1989, 114 mins. 35mm. With Michelle Pfeiffer, Jeff Bridges, Beau Bridges. In one of the most charismatic star performances in all contemporary cinema, a sultry and snappy Pfeiffer steals the screen as Susie Diamond, a small-time lounge singer hired by the piano-playing Jack and Frank Baker (real-life Bridges brothers Jeff and Beau) to inject some pizzazz into their act. Her talent, appeal, and burgeoning romance with loner Jack leads to conflict between the bickering brothers and threatens to upend their bond. The Oscar-nominated cinematography by Michael Ballhaus and score by Dave Grusin contribute to the masterfully maintained mood of slightly scuzzy glamour, but it’s all about the chemistry: between Pfeiffer and Bridges, as well as the Bridges boys. It’s the kind of finely etched, small-scale gem Hollywood truly doesn’t make anymore.