August 31, 2010

"What Audrey does in 'Breakfast at Tiffany’s' is not uninteresting, but it is far from the modern woman..."

"...  even the one introduced to American audiences in the persons of Bette Davis, Irene Dunne, Margaret Sullavan, the other Hepburn (though she could talk herself into a self-centered corner, too), Carole Lombard, Rosalind Russell, Jean Arthur, as well as Barbara Stanwyck. Instead Audrey rather resembles her physical antithesis Marilyn Monroe (who wanted to play Holly) in that they have very distinctive voices, but not voices that are good for talking to people."

Questioning "the chilly yet unlived-in gamine glamour of Audrey Hepburn."

30 comments:

traditionalguy said...

It's entertainment. I liked Audrey's Holly character. Now I am so ashamed of myself. Women can play roles if they chose to...that doesn't mean they are any less intelligent. As they say, it takes more acting skill to play the clown role than to play the "normal man" role. I remember Forrest Gump with great appreciation for the role Tom Hanks played of a good hearted idiot. Oops, confession may be good for the soul but not for the reputation.

rhhardin said...

Not uninteresting must be one of those sturdy indefensibles that in fact means dull.

Fred4Pres said...

She needed an armful of these guys.

Skyler said...

No matter how sweet and nice something is, someone always has to try to ruin it.

Fen said...

I owe Breakfast at Tiffany's my life.

For many years, I was head over heals in love with a girl who was very much like Holly Golightly. She even shared many of Hepburn's mannerisms and traits. With a huge dose of Southern Belle syndrome.

Then I saw the movie. Slap in the face. Woke me up. I would have been miserable with that woman. Miserable for the rest of my life.

So Thanks!

Fred4Pres said...

Grace Kelly in her Hitchcock films—Rear Window, To Catch a Thief—is plainly packing sex in her overnight bag. And talking, too—please remember that, because one of the glories of the American talking picture is dialogue as sexual play.

Grace Kelly was sexy. In everyway.

And I agree about Mickey Rooney. It is painful to watch him in that movie.

t-man said...

The review was somewhat painful to read, but I think the author makes a lot of sense that Hepburn, as a model for the "modern woman," pales by comparison to Hepburn's predecessors and contemporaries. (How he could leave out Myrna Loy in the discussion about nice woman in Hollywood who clearly had sex is beyond me.)

But I do see a lot of Hepburn in the modern girl/woman Paris Hilton.

One great snippet from the review:
what a lewd, permissive dildo censorship could be.

traditionalguy said...

Among the Manhattan literati of the 1940s and 1950 there was a great era of story telling, such as Tennessee Williams, Gore Vidal and Truman Capote. But they were only stories and therefore not as interesting real life events except when based partly upon real people's lives.

Joe said...

I finally forced myself to watch Breakfast at Tiffany's. It was horrible (and the Mickey Rooney nonsense was actually quite offensive and I'm not easily offended.)

And I agree about Myrna Loy. Forget her and you lose all credibility when talking about Hollywood.

Fen said...

The review was somewhat painful to read, but I think the author makes a lot of sense that -

Agreed. I was set to resist the article, but its well-written and the he makes very good points.

Too bad he's stuck at Pravda.

Andrea said...

Never seen the movie, never wanted to, and every time I hear yet another dewy young person praise it for how speshul it is to their hearts (culminating in that annoying pop hit "Breakfast At Tiffany's" by some dull MTV clone band whose name I hat to look up -- Deep Blue Something, yes that's their real name, and appropriately they never had another hit) I feel even less like ever watching it. I read up the plot and I was like "gigolo? cute chicky who's obviously a hooker? no thanks."

rcocean said...

The only reason to see Breakfast at Tiffany is Audrey Hepburn. Had someone else played the role it would be forgotten. And thank goodness she nixed Tony Curtis for the Peppard role.

The novel is typical Capote. A great stylist with nothing to say.

Skyler said...

The only reason to see Breakfast at Tiffany is Audrey Hepburn.

I'm not even sure I've seen the entire movie, but anything with Audrey Hepburn is worth seeing just to see her.

Even if she isn't nice off stage, I don't care. I like to see her and how beautiful and graceful she is. That's plenty good enough.

John said...

Why the hooker hate Andrea? A girl has got to make a living

TMink said...

Two men telling women who they should emulate. Next some race hustler will tell white people they can't appreciate Dr. King.

Trey

Flexo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Flexo said...

Breakfast at Tiffany's is an excellent movie. It is a classic for a reason. And Audrey is spectacular in the role.

It is also a very sad movie, being an examination of existential angst and its inevitable nihilistic despair.

Lula Mae could have had love, she could have had happiness, but she preferred to be Holly. She preferred shallowness and emptiness, not even giving her cat a name.

So very sad.

And, yes, the lie who was Holly Golightly IS a model of the "modern woman," with the same tragic results.

former law student said...

The author's right about the unusual non-native character of Hepburn's voice. But it worked for her as a princess in Roman Holiday.

Flexo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Flexo said...

Had someone else played the role it would be forgotten

Natalie Wood would have been perfect. In fact, a couple of her prior roles were in that same vein (and, speaking of Piper Laurie, so was she in The Hustler, "We have a contract of depravity").

hombre said...

The only reason to see Breakfast at Tiffany['s] is Audrey Hepburn.

Exactly! (Although Natalie Wood might have done as well.)

William said...

Stars do not offer a destination, but a direction. Audrey existed beyond the furthest bend of Moon River. Maybe this level of perfection can be reached only with proper lighting, a skilled hairstylist, and great natural beauty; but, for all that, for a few hours in a few movies, Audrey achieved perfection. Look at the fleeting, tentative smile she flashes at George Peppard after finishing the Moon River song. (It's on You Tube.) Who wouldn't face down dragons in order to receive the boon contained in the grace of that smile.

rcocean said...

The Capote novel is another one of his stories where the "woman" character is really a Gay man.

Tennesse Williams did this all the time too. Think of Blanche or Brick as a gay man and it all makes sense.

traditionalguy said...

rcocean...The Amanda character (the mother) in Glass Menagerie was not a gay man although the son Tom was.

Joe said...

I always thought the point of "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" was that Brick was gay. At the time it was written, there might have been some coyness about it, but it's blindingly obvious today.

(According to Wikipedia, Williams reviled the 1958 Taylor/Newman version. I didn't like it much either, vastly preferring the Jessica Lange/Tommy Lee Jones TV version.)

rcocean said...

"rcocean...The Amanda character (the mother) in Glass Menagerie was not a gay man although the son Tom was."

Yes, that's what I always thought. Same with "Summer and Smoke" the Page character is an obvious Gay.

paul a'barge said...

This is the maroon who wrote the article:
http://www.filmdetail.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/09/david-thomson-on-have-you-seen.jpg

Please. Tell me you've seen another picture that radiates more gay than this guy.

paul a'barge said...

Linky Poo good for clicking

joewxman said...

Audrey Hepburn did her best acting in the 1957 movie "The Nun's Story" where she is there pretty much stripped of all makeup and actually has to act. And in that movie she pulls it off.

Never liked Breakfast At Tiffany's

former law student said...

Tell me you've seen another picture that radiates more gay than this guy.

Well, he is British, which is always a confusion factor. But wikip says he has a wife and two kids.