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Popcorn & Prejudice: A Movie Blog

Seattle Times writer Moira Macdonald muses on moviegoing. Email Moira: mmacdonald@seattletimes.com.

November 11, 2014 at 10:26 AM

‘Fabulous Baker Boys’ turns 25

Best movie ever filmed in Seattle? I might make an argument for this gem, celebrating its silver anniversary this year. “The Fabulous Baker Boys,” written and directed by Steve Kloves (who only directed one more movie, “Flesh and Bone,” before turning his attention to screenwriting; he wrote most of the Harry Potter movies and “The Amazing Spider-Man”), is a jazzy, low-key yet immensely satisfying romance set in the night lights of downtown. The Baker Boys are a pair of middle-aged brothers who’ve spent their lives as professional if schmaltzy musicians; Jack (Jeff Bridges), more talented and less focused than his brother Frank (Beau Bridges), could do better but can’t be bothered. When they add a female vocalist, Susie Diamond (Michelle Pfeiffer), to the act, things get shaken up, wonderful songs get sung, and the screen lights up with chemistry. Great atmosphere; great performances; great fun. The three stars recently reunited for Entertainment Weekly, but, alas, didn’t sing.

The scene everyone remembers from the movie is, of course, Pfeiffer sprawled on a grand piano singing “Makin’ Whoopee.” But here’s a scene I love, from late in the film, between the two brothers. It’s a rare gift watching two siblings onscreen; though they’re playing characters, you can see a lifetime of ease between them. Check out this film, if you haven’t seen it, and wish it a happy birthday.

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