Rabu, 24 Desember 2008

Breakfast at Tiffany's (Special Aniversary Collector's Edition)

Breakfast at Tiffany's (Special Aniversary Collector's Edition)Studio: Paramount Home Video Release Date: 01/16/2007

Customer Review: a diamond among cubic zirconia

For me, this is the wondrous film that created Audrey Hepburn's enduring and iconic image: The sublime Givenchy gown, the oversized sunglasses, the glamorous streaked updo, her own yards and yards of sophistication and chic. If you hit puberty in the 60's as I did, this film presented one monster of a classic character to "wanna be": Holly Golightly via Audrey Hepburn.

"Breakfast at Tiffany's" is not without its flaws but what isn't in this world? It's a glossy, frothy, sleek window into a moment of time 50+ years ago.

It's about Holly, a well-paid "party girl" living by her wits and on her charms in Manhattan during the early 60's. It took me years to truly absorb that Holly was a call girl primarily because imagining Audrey Hepburn as such was beyond me. I guess I actually believed Holly was given money from admiring men "just" to go to the "powder room." I probably thought: who wouldn't give Audrey Hepburn money just for being Audrey Hepburn?

Anyway, Holly's apparently some kind of beautiful hillbilly who's drifted her way to the fringe of celebrity, from yahooville to Hollywood to New York. She's heading for "La Dolce Vita," "the jet set," etc., and she's in survival mode, avidly looking for a rich husband. Holly meets Varjak, Paul/aka "Fred" (George Peppard), a struggling writer, when he moves into her building. Holly learns that he's kept by a wealthy, older married woman (Patricia Neal) and he and she quickly become friends, lovers, confidantes. Things get complicated, as things always do, but there's never a dull moment...

At one time George Peppard's presence in the film irked me. Now, not so much - even after having read that Steve McQueen had been considered for the part. McQueen would probably have been great, but I like Peppard just fine. Paul Varjak is supposed to be a "square," and Peppard is good at portraying the bemused outside observer of Holly's "swinging scene."

Much has been made about Mickey Rooney as Holly's upstairs neighbor, Mr. Yunioshi. Today playing an ethnic character this broadly and with such buffoonery is NOT DONE - totally politically incorrect, and rightly so. However, when "Breakfast at Tiffany's" was made in 1961 it was not yet the end of an era when caricaturing non-WASPS was common. I'm not saying it was a good thing and I'm not defending it, I'm just saying times have changed and it's best to keep that in mind when considering Rooney's over-the-top Yunioshi.

"Breakfast at Tiffany's" boasts a solid supporting cast: Patricia Neal as what was once referred to as a "chicken hawk," Martin Balsam as fast talking movie-man, O.J. Berman, Buddy Ebsen as Doc Golightly and - not to forget - "Cat," a pivotal character.

"Roman Holiday" launched Audrey Hepburn, but this is the film that made her a legend. For that alone it is to be savored.

Customer Review: a totally enchanting urban fairy tale

Forget about Capote's cynical novella and enjoy what a couple of master Hollywood craftsmen (Edwards and Axelrod) spin from it. It is pure 24 k Romantic gold. There has never been a more perfect date movie.

Hepburn was never more radiantly beautiful than in 61. And Peppard is quite a piece of male eye candy. Together they are the perfect Upper East Side New York dysfunctional couple: Physical perfection and infantile neurosis wrapped up in one beautiful Tiffany Blue box of a movie.
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