Monday, 14 April 2014
"Breakfast at Tiffany's"
Have I said I love this film?
I watched "Breakfast at Tiffany's" the 2nd time last night. Of course it's not as great as "My fair lady", but it would be unfair to attribute the appeal of "Breakfast at Tiffany's" to Audrey Hepburn's charm alone (though I don't deny that Audrey Hepburn's delightful in the role). One can compare this film to "Hors de prix".
Paul, compared to Jean, is better as a man- loving, kind, understanding, generous and proud. He has self-respect and pride, he has the guts to break off the relationship with 2E and change his life. Also better as a character, Paul's a conflicted, complex one.
Holly, too, is a better character than Irène. Lots of girls, including me, can relate to Holly, since even though I don't share with her the same interest in jewelry and luxury, even though Holly can be seen as superficial and mercenary, she's a runaway, an escapist, full of fear and afraid of facing reality. Having left home at a young age, she keeps running away without knowing that no matter where she runs, she always ends up running into herself. She doesn't dare to believe in happiness- many, I reckon, can relate to that. I particularly love the cat scene in the end, "Breakfast at Tiffany's" is thus romantic without becoming sentimental. The character Irène doesn't have the same depth, and I doubt that the audience may love Irène as much as Holly.
One may wonder how the film might have turned out if Marilyn Monroe had accepted the role. I can't tell, but if "My fair lady" could be good whether with Audrey Hepburn or Julie Andrews or someone else as Eliza, I have a feeling that Audrey would be much better than Marilyn in this film (though Marilyn's Truman Capote's choice). Her performance in this film is a balance of charm and acting. Without charm, Holly wouldn't be iconic as it is, but Audrey Hepburn doesn't rely on charm alone, as in "My fair lady" and "Roman holiday" and perhaps even "Funny face". Truman Capote might have had Marilyn Monroe in mind whilst writing the story, and Holly does have the instability and vulnerability often associated with Marilyn, but Audrey does a nice job and becomes Holly in people's minds, depicting the naivete, vulnerability and dreamy escapism of Holly and at the same time having the sweetness and the natural quality Marilyn lacks. The fact that Audrey has charm and a cute face instead of sex appeal is another asset, which makes the friendship between her and Paul (aka baby Fred) possible, and though I do like Marilyn very much, I must confess that her way of acting, facial expressions and voice can be exhausting and irritating. It's not right to praise Audrey Hepburn as an incredible actress, she's definitely not on par with Vivien Leigh, Katharine Hepburn, Ingrid Bergman, Bette Davis... but neither is it right to dismiss her talent and attribute her status to charm alone.
1 of her best scenes is the "Moon river" singing scene.
Plus, she and George Peppard have great chemistry.
I'd like to write more, but words are inadequate. Here are some lovely video clips:
Update on 17/4:
This is such a nice piece of writing that I must share the link here: