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Autumn girl, biographical film, biography, review, biopic

Autumn Girl (2021) 

If you consulted Wikipedia’s page on Kalina Jędrusik, you’d discover she was a Polish singer and actress who performed in more than thirty films and was married to writer Stanisław Dygat. Which is more than you will learn after spending 105 minutes watching this patchy, uneven combination of biopic and musical dramedy.

In the early 1960’s Jędrusik is enjoying fame, if not fortune, courtesy of her appearances on Poland’s hit television show ‘Elderly Gentlemen's Cabaret’. A performance at the 1962 Miner’s Day concert confirms her popularity, with one particular admirer being the new head of television entertainment. Yet when she rebuffs his advances, he tears up her contract under the pretence that the nation was offended by her revealing outfit. With her husband more focused on his writing and her live-in lover unable to provide the support she needs, Jędrusik struggles to overcome this career setback.

Cue musical number. Liberally dosed with tracks from Jędrusik’s catalogue, many written by ‘elderly gentlemen’ Jerzy Wasowski and Jeremi Przybora, Autumn Girl suffers from these supposedly witty songs losing a great deal of their charm in translation. Neither are they helped by the fantasy sequences and strange choreography that occasionally accompany them, with one number in Klub Spatif looking like the dancers all suffered a simultaneous dislocated shoulder.

The film's style and colour palette are reminiscent of Down With Love, Peyton Reed’s 2003 homage to Doris Day films that received a favourable reviews despite causing a few to ponder what the whole point of the exercise was. Autumn Girl begs the same question without deserving any of the plaudits.

Maria Debska, Kalina Jedrusik, Leszek Lichota, Stanislaw Dygat, Rafal Rutkowski
Jeremi Przybora, Dariusz Basinski, Jerzy Wasowski, Pawel Tomaszewski, Tadeusz Konwicki

Biopic opens with the disclaimer - "The events in this film did not necessarily happen". Nuff said.

Borys Szyc, Kazimierz Kutz, fact check, factcheck, fact vs fiction

Biopic focuses on Kalina Jedrusik’s television career, and as such there are no film scene recreations.

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