Dec 26, 2011

Christmas in Connecticut  [1945]

Directed by Peter Godfrey
Art Direction by Stanley Fleischer
Set Decoration by Casey Roberts
Cinematography by Carl E. Guthrie
Film Format: 35 mm  Aspect Ratio: 1.37:1
Warner Bros. Pictures
In Christmas In CT, the cynicism of an urbane, single, magazine-columnist for the suburban, wifely comforts her readers aspire to, is first abetted by her outsider-pal, an expatriate eastern-European chef, who helps her in her home-maker masquerade.  To escape discovery as a fake by her publisher, she ensconces herself within the backdrop of a picture-perfect cottage (created by a seemingly gay architect with aspirations of his own to the domestic idyll). As she says to her publisher, “I remember what you said about the charm of an attractive woman performing a homey little task of flipping flapjacks with the smell of good coffee and sizzling bacon in a sunny kitchen”. Eventually, her agnosticism is overcome by lessons learned while impersonating the woman she’d pretended to be, and she gives herself over to connubial love, (and it's suggested, domestic bliss). In effect, the kitchen converts the career-gal.

Mirroring the dilemma of our protagonist, the kitchen is split in the style of its amenities: Openly
configured, but full of odd angles; a modern central counter with cantilevered shelves served by stools for informal eating, but also a full table with chairs when surely there's a formal dining room elsewhere; a custom recessed niche encloses a rather small & old-fashioned refrigerator; ersatz colonial details and gingham-curtains, but a six-burner stove and a double sink with wall-mounted faucet; exposed timber rafters but wrap-around windows - all conspire to make this kitchen (and its dramatic conclusion), too paradoxical to believe.