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|Index||120 reviews in total|
I was surprised to see so many love this film. As I have not seen the
original I will not compare them, nor do I think it is fair to compare
remakes to an original. A movie is made to be itself and should be
evaluated as is.
While they may have tried to modernize the movie it was not modernized enough. It seeps through the screen that it is based on values and images decades ago. Take the architecture of the corporation premises which so clearly is designed to convey the common man of the 50's awe respect for the 'corporate giants' of his days. The architecture is an echo of the 50's not the 90's. An interesting fact is the lack of other employees in the offices apart from the secretary. But of course it can symbolize the loneliness of the corporate all-business shark.
So is the glamour girl style of Sabrina, styled over the romantic ideal for a 50's young woman. They put in a 1950's girls personality in a 1990's woman. Sabrina of the 1990's would appear much more modern and critical of the men and their behavior and not such a push-over, a willing vessel for the men's admirations. Also she would have been engaged in education and career not only seen as an object destined for the role of a wife, as was more common in the 50's.
Is Ormond doing a good job? Perhaps. If she was trying to follow the director's desire to portrait a 1950 girl. I just find her personality archaeic and out of time and place. The character is simply not believable for its time. Why portrait a classic Hollywood movie star and not a modern woman? (I think they perhaps tried too hard to make her look like Julia Roberts)
Also not believable as a corporate shark was Harrison Ford. If the director had pushed him a little more to the nerdy side, it would have worked well with the bow-tie. He did look a little funny with the old fashioned hat, black&white and the mobile phone of it's days with the immense antenna. But as with Sabrina the conversion to 1990's is only half lived. Not totally committed.
The best and most believable performance was actually the mother although also she was clearly cut out of the 1950's dominant mother. I came to think of the 30's Groucho Marx's favorite victim, Mrs. Dumont.
The pattern goes on with the immense staff of the household, which with today's salaries would be outrageously expensive and eccentric. Even for the 50's it would be a grotesquely big staff even more so for a modern family. I think we would have to go all the way back to the 30's to believe in this household.
Also unbelievable is the lightening transformation of a teenage school girl to a dazzling sophisticated self assure young woman overnight who even manages to acquire an exquisit French wardrobe on a meager photographer assistant's wage, which surely would have been meager because so many would want the job. I am not sure she would have been paid all together. "Working for the honor."
What remains for me is an uncommitted attempt to remake a(ny) success which seems picked out of coincidence; - the film doesn't show WHY it was remade and modernized. It doesn't claim its own right so to speak. It seems simply like a blind, ill thought through refreshment with no care for details or cinema art. It's neither the 50's nor really the 90's really. Not a pure romance and not really a comedy.
One overseen joke in the comments or trivia is the painting behind David in his little used office. It is actually a Pollack painting, the same name of the director. Jason/Sidney Pollack. Well, actually and actually, I simply mean it is in the Jason Pollack style. Don't know if it is an actual reproduction or copycat.
I agree with one of the other comments. This film is simply a mess. And an uncommitted one as well. It should have been burned, not released. I was too nice giving it a 6.
I tried very hard to like this movie, because a dear friend of mine
loves it. She's never particularly liked the original, while it has
always been a favorite of mine. But I tried to view it with an open
mind, because occasionally I will like a remake even more than the
original (I like "You've Got Mail" better than "The Shop Around the
Corner," for example).
But I think, even had I never seen the original "Sabrina," this version still would not have hung together for me. I thought Ormond and Kinnear were good, but found Harrison Ford (whom I usually like) unconvincing and unattractive in the role. (At his age, I don't think there would have been anything wrong with letting him look his best, even if he WAS a work-obsessed nerd.) What I most missed, however, was the light, magical and very funny quality (and probably writing) that Billy Wilder brought to the original. I felt very sleepy and bored watching this one, and I found the sexual tension that the director and actors tried to create rather forced. But my friend finds the movie very romantic. So I guess it depends upon the beholder!
The first Sabrina was a classic and Humphrey Bogart and Audrey Hepburn can never EVER be replaced. Harrison Ford does a horrible impression of Humphrey Bogart. He fails miserably with his attempt to sound like Bogart. Whereas Bogart sounded cool, Ford sounds fake and there is no other word for this movie but HORRIBLE! It changes a classic into a stupid chick flick and nothing that was good about the first is kept in this one. I am not a big fan of remakes although there are some that are done well. This is not one. Harrison Ford should stick to action movies and stay far away from Humphrey Bogart impressions. I am sure that there are people on SNL who can do better impressions - and as a joke. It is impossible to take this movie seriously or to even slightly enjoy it. It would be funny to watch Ford's failed impersonations except that they are ruining a classic movie.
I am a fan of the movie "Sabrina". I am a fan of Harrison Ford and Greg
Kennear. Sidney Pollack is a great director. So what happened? There is a
saying "Say nothing if your words cannot improve the silence." That is my
sentiment on remakes - especially in the case of this movie. Stick to the
original !! How could such an "A list" cast yield such a lemon, I will
never know. So much of what made the original movie endearing or humorous
was removed for the sake of modernization, and never replaced by anything
nearly as engaging or romantic.
Nancy Marchand as the family matriarch, while killing off the hailarious father of the original movie was abrasive and garish. Harrison Ford's attempt to be distant and lonely came off as grimacing pain. Maybe he was attempting to imitate Bogart's trademark facial expression, but even Bogie shelved his famous facial tics to play Linus Larrabee. Kennear, who came off hapless and vulnerable in "As Good As it Gets" just seems feckless and pathetic in this role. There is no way anyone could understand why Sabrina has loved this man all her life without once seeing his true faults. There is not enough chemistry between our modern Cinderella and either brother to create a tug of war in Sabrina's heart. If I were she, I would have dumped both the Larrabee duds of this update and run off with Papa's secretly stashed $2 million (another addition of the update).
The only thing they updated well was Julia Ormand's startling transformation once she reached Paris, and the ingenious idea of making her a photographer. The point that "love conquers class" was downplayed for modern audiences. But the remaining themes play lukewarm and weak.
Most critics panned this film because it did not measure up, in their
opinions, to the original with Humphrey Bogart and William Holden. Frankly,
I never believed Bogart in the role of Linus in the original, at least not
in his conversion. Bill Holden and Greg Kinnear both have the same kind of
personality to make David's character work.
Of course, in truth, Harrison Ford was not that believable as the parsimonious scold - his conversion seemed too easy. On the few occasions in his career where he's attempted to play an unsavory person, he's had mixed results. I think Michael Douglas might have been a better choice for Linus - he can be both Gordon Gekko and Andrew Shepherd without raising eyebrows.
The saving grace for this film is Sidney Pollack's direction. The story flows well and it's hard not to smile often. Only the jaded and cynical will not feel better at the end for having watched it.
Harrison Ford takes on the Humphrey Bogart role in the Sidney Pollack remake of Billy Wilder's 1954 SABRINA. Greg Kinnear plays his younger brother, and Julia Ormond plays Sabrina, the free-spirited daughter of the chauffeur for the massive estate run by Ford and his mommy (Nancy Marchand). Sabrina comes home from a long stay in Paris at an awkward moment for the wealthy family, and it is up to the stuffy, aloof Ford to persuade her to return to Paris. Ford is much too old for his role, although he is very convincing in his portrayal of an obsessed business tycoon. You'd almost think he was appearing in another movie, something involving, say, a murder or kidnaping. Ormond is not nearly appealing as Audrey Hepburn from the original, and in fact she is less appealing than her costar Lauren Holly, who plays a doctor soon to marry Kinnear. So I don't buy that Ford eventually falls for Ormond at all. I also didn't give a hoot about the details of the family business. Kinnear, who is actually pretty funny as Harrison's kid brother, is inexplicably left out of the entire middle of the movie so that it can focus on Ford wooing the confused Sabrina, who thinks she loves Kinnear but then decides she loves Ford. Yuck. Imagine kissing the wrinkly-faced Ford. I would have some fun with Ormond's lackluster performance and undistinguished appearance right about here, but instead let it be said that it simply was a bad idea to remake this film. SABRINA 1995 was not Ormond's fault.
Julia Ormond is sensational as the young Sabrina Fairchild, daughter of the chauffeur (John Wood) of a wealthy family. Sabrina has been in love with playboy brother (of wealthy family) David (Greg Kinnear) all her life, and is dismayed when her father sends her off to Paris to get a new view of the world. However, years later, when she returns as an older woman, David then realizes how 'right' she is for him, even if he's finally setting a date with one of his two-week lovers. Behind this interaction, older brother and businessman Linus (Harrison Ford), whose pleased about David's engagement, seeing that he's marrying the daughter of wealthy business competitor Mr. Tyson, knows that Sabrina just might end the marriage and the merger. To make things work out, Linus pretends to start being interested in her. This is a delightful tale about love with beautiful music and visual shots that will make you very pleased. The movie is unique enough to be considered a film of individuality, not another version of the same film. Both Sabrina (1954) and Sabrina (1995) are well done, just different. Rating: 4 1/2 out of 5 Stars.
Like Sandra Bullock in "Love Potion #9", Julia Ormond went from being an ugly duckling to a swan and capturing the heart of a wealthy man who had barely noticed her before. But love turned out to be a logjam to big business so a game of high stakes emotional chicanery was launched only to turn out with unintended results. I loved this one: makes me want to see the original.
Many critiques on this site suppose that it is somehow superior to the original. I am not sure how this can hold up. While Harrison Ford and Greg Kinnear are fine actors in their own right, comparing them to the coupling of Bogart and Holden is ridiculous. Just because a movie is OLD does not make it better, but if it is impeccably filmed and acted superbly, what is the point in redoing it to inferior standards? I suggest that the state of movie-making has in fact declined, as the art form has given way to popular sentiment, over-the-top portrayals of characters, and remakes which attempt to market themselves on previous successful attempts. To say that someone who repainted a Michaelangelo has made it somewhat made it better because painting has "evolved" is equally as stupid as saying any remake improves. And while Audrey Hepburn is not the world's finest actress, she has a unique cinematic quality which cannot be imitated or reproduced, much like her co-stars in this film. Please Hollywood, stop reproducing classics simply because there is a drought of originality and screenplays. Try rereleasing these classics so the public can see movies as they were meant to be viewed.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The lovely locations are the best that can be said about this tepid, half-hearted 1990s remake of the 1950s Audrey Hepburn vehicle. Julia Ormond is a good choice for the title role, but the script just doesn't crackle and fizz like it should, and the story plods along without inviting much interest. And to cast Harrison Ford as Linus, the love interest? I mean, he is too old. Greg Kinnear, as his brother David, is also too old to play a young playboy. And he doesn't have the playboy look. The dialogue is as stilted as a 1940s B-movie. But this is the 1990s. The film's creators seem determined to exclude all signs of modern times, except for the flat screen TVs Linus sells. And this world of society dinner parties and dumb barbie doll women really jars for me in this era. But the biggest anachronism for me is how Sabrina's value and happiness Is portrayed as resting solely in her looks and poise. I mean, the poor girl seems to have no identity in her own right. It's as if her problems will be solved once she hooks a man. She doesn't have any life of her own, and her sappy father, the chauffeur, looks on weakly. Sabrina is living in a daytime soap! And it's boring - for her and for us.
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