VIFF Review: Feminist Live Reads ‘Some Like It Hot’ has women playing men playing women (and totally rocks it)

Sitting comfortably alongside VIFF for a number of years, Feminist Live Reads reaches through the fourth wall to give an even more intimate experience to the moviegoer set. And their love letter tonight to ‘Some Like It Hot’ was part live theatre, part jazz performance, all brought together by some of the most versatile women you’ll ever hear tearing through Billy Wilder’s electric script.

Working through the movie in its entirety is unusual for a live read, where it’s more common to hear a curated set of extracts handpicked for maximum audience entertainment, but the decision proved to be a good one. ‘Some Like It Hot’ has retained its classic status (save for a few then-normal comments on same-sex relationships, gloriously delivered through gritted teeth by ‘The Killing’‘s Katie Findlay) and it positively zips from line to line, especially with such a great set of actors as these. From (a little underused) Jewel Staite, to Findley’s perfect sparring partner in Kacey Rohl, all the performers threw themselves into multiple characters with glee.

But the cherry on the cake was the music. My jaw dropped a fair bit when Jill Barber emerged with a jazz quartet, performing three original songs from the movie that even left the voice cast speechless. It’s one of those special moments where you question whether you are actually conscious or just gliding through an impossible dream. Barber purrs and slides around the music in a way that would make Monroe jealous, backed by a quartet who effortlessly brought every moment to beautiful life.

Then the end came, the dream ended, and everyone filtered out of the Rio (such a perfect venue) with the shared appreciation of having spent a few hours in a singular experience that could never be repeated. It may not be the most traditional part of a film festival, but I can’t think of any better way to express the love of such a wonderful film.