Director: Blake Edwards
I’m a funny old goat when it comes to films deemed to be classics. Almost every time without fail I find the praise surrounding the ‘classics’ often doesn’t match up to the film and end up being underwhelmed. As such I tend to avoid those films deemed to be classics until I can’t any longer – like when deciding to start this blog as you can guarantee they are all going to be included in 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die. Every so often I hit upon one that I actually kind of like. And that’s what happened when I finally got around to watching Breakfast At Tiffany’s.
While I enjoyed Breakfast At Tiffany’s sometimes when watching a film that has become as iconic as this one has it is difficult to see it as a whole rather than just a string of iconic vignettes. “Audrey Hepburn, her hair swept back, dressed in a chic black dress, and carrying her elegant cigarette holder, provides an unforgettable image that hasn’t faded over time.” (Joanna Berry, 381, 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die) Audrey Hepburn is dazzling as the wonderfully bohemian spirited Holly Golightly. She flits around like a glamorous butterfly from one wealthy man to another, always managing effortlessly to be the centre of attention wherever she is. And yet there are moments where you see through the carefully constructed facade she has built up to the lonely person underneath.
Despite the influence of the censors leading to some changes to the adaptation from Truman Capote’s novel the implications as to how both Holly and Paul fund their lifestyles are clear. But then that may just be me looking at the film from a cynical viewpoint. I found myself drawn more towards Paul, played by George Peppard, than Hepburn’s Holly. Paul gets completely swept along by Holly’s somewhat frivolous lifestyle and finds himself orbiting her gravitational pull and that’s how I felt as a viewer. “The delicate balance of both his and Holly’s relationships are placed under threat, however, when Paul falls in love with his beautiful, if sometimes maddening. neighbor.” (381)
“Add Henry Mancini’s haunting score and classic cinematic moments (Hepburn singing “Moon River,” or searching for her beloved Cat in the pouring New York rain) and you have one of Hollywood’s most delightful and unforgettable romantic dramas.” (381) Earlier I said it was difficult to see iconic films as a whole rather than just a series of vignettes but I found that Breakfast At Tiffany’s became a complete film. Yes there are many infamous moments but the story overcomes them and they become part of what draws you in instead of pulling you out of the story which is something I have found with other iconic females in film (notably Marilyn Monroe in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, 1953, Howard Hawks). It’s a lovely romantic film with a gentle comedy running throughout and a classic film that I actually found myself enjoying.