Holly Golightly is a flighty Manhattan party girl, who expects "money for the powder room as well as for cab fare" for her companionship. She has even gotten a lucrative once weekly job to visit notorious convict Sally Tomato in Sing Sing, she needing to report back to Sally's lawyer the weather report that Sally tells her as proof of her visits with him in return for payment. Her aspirations for glamour and wealth are epitomized by the comfort she feels at Tiffany's, the famous high-end jewelry retailer where she believes nothing can ever go wrong. Her resolve for this wealth is strengthened, if not changed slightly in focus, upon news from home. Into Holly's walk-up apartment building and thus her life is Paul Varjak, a writer who Holly states reminds her of her brother Fred, who she has not seen in years and who is currently enlisted in the army. The two quickly become friends in their want for something outside of their current lot. Paul's situation is closer to Holly's than he ...Written by
This film is an amazing achievement for Audrey Hepburn. The part was clearly written for Marilyn Monroe. (To think of Hepburn as a backwoods girl is absurd.) Monroe would have made a meal of this and it would have been her signature role. But she was in the midst of her emotional troubles at this time and the role was given to a very different actress in Hepburn who produced a very different Holly Golightly. And yet she did it so well that it became HER signature role instead. It's not unusual for an actor to make a role his own such that you can't picture someone else in the role even thought there are actually many who could have played it. But to take a role intended specifically for another, one for which one does not appear suited, and make that your own well, that's a great acting achievement. It certainly is Audrey Hepburn's greatest role, a performance with many more complexities than any other she ever gave.
It's also a fabulous film. I love beauty emerging form contradiction, like a rhapsody emerging from apparently unrelated themes and musical noises. Here we have something that is at times a wacky comedy, a breezy romance and yet is full of depth and drama. So many things have happened and we have been introduced to so many characters at the end, it's amazing they all fit together. I also like the bravery of doing a story about two people who are basically prostitutes in 1961. It's daring yet there's nothing sleazy about he film because it concentrates on who these people are as people- what they are, not what they do.
And the film has the most eclectic cast I can imagine. Romantic heroine Audrey Hepburn. Method actor George Peppard. Sleek man-killer Patricia Neal. Actor's actor Martin Balsam. Old reliable Buddy Ebsen, just before he hammed it up as Jed Clampett, playing a subtle and touching version of the same thing. Mickey Rooney provides the only jarring note with his scenery chewing performance as the Japanese landlord, something we could surely have done without. Did you know that Audrey's gangster sugar daddy is played by Alan Reed, the voice of Fred Flintstone? And don't forget John McGiver's delicate turn as the clerk at Tiffany's.
You can debate the virtues of a film into the night. What really counts in the end is: Does it stay in the memory vividly years later? Would you like to watch it again? And when you watch it again, does it take you back to when you first saw it? Breakfast at Tiffany's certainly does. It will always be the prize in the cracker-jack box.
19 of 25 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this