So I have a question for you, reader. When you think of Udo Kier, which place immediately comes to mind? To me it’s probably a decadent corner of a Berlin bar. It is definitely NOT Sandusky, Ohio. However, this is where we meet our beloved Udo in Swan song, playing retired hairstylist Pat Pitsenbarger. Not only is Pat retired, he’s also in a nursing home and recently suffered a stroke. However, that doesn’t stop him from sneaking cigarettes and doing whatever he wants despite the nursing home staff.
How did this flamboyant German end up in Sandusky, Ohio? It’s not really clear, but we’re told that Pat was the most successful hairstylist in all of Sandusky. Her most influential client is Rita Parker Sloan (Linda Evans). We find out how Pat fell off the ladder to where he is now during the film.
Do not worry. swan Song does not take place entirely in a retirement home. Pat receives a visit from a lawyer, Mr. Shamrock. Sadly, Shamrock is also the same lawyer who withdrew the inheritance Pat allegedly received from her husband at the request of the late husband’s nephew. He’s not happy to see this guy, but he has a proposal. Rita Parker Sloan has passed away and wants Pat to do her funeral hair. She also left a reserve to pay him $ 25,000, which he desperately needs.
What follows is a hilarious escape from the retirement home and a quest to get to the funeral home in time to fix Rita’s hair. Along the way, we meet Pat’s former apprentice turned rival, Dee Dee Dale. Jennifer Coolidge doesn’t spend a lot of screen time as Dee Dee, but her scenes. Like every scene she’s ever done, if we’re serious, they’re awesome. Pat is in a race against time to make sure Rita’s corpse is fabulous. The trip itself invigorates him in a way, but you can see how old age affects his mental faculties.
To be as casual as humanly possible, I could refer to Swan song like gay Nebraska, but it is not that simple. Udo Kier often plays character roles in major movies and steals whatever scenes he is in. For example, his role in Lars Von Trier Melancholy is one of the most inspired character actor performances I have ever seen. So seeing Udo in the lead, especially so late in his career, is very exciting. Her face and body language say it all. In fact, it happens quite often in the movie. It is not the most wordy movie I have ever seen.
I highly recommend seeing this movie. He has diapers. Although this is essentially a comedy, it is about death, poverty and betrayal. It deals with rampant homophobia in American suburbs. More importantly, it’s an American movie with Udo Kier in every scene. How not to want to see that? I also have to say that if for some horrible reason you don’t know who Udo Kier is, this is a perfect introduction to him. Writer / Director Todd Stephens knows how to get a great performance out of all of the cast. It creates a whimsical atmosphere in a scenario that could be unbearably heavy. Swan song is probably one of the funniest movies I’ve seen that hangs its hat in a Land of Death. Still, it celebrates life, which we all need a little more for, don’t you think?