A struggling female soprano finds work playing a male female impersonator, but it complicates her personal life.A struggling female soprano finds work playing a male female impersonator, but it complicates her personal life.A struggling female soprano finds work playing a male female impersonator, but it complicates her personal life.
The film's music alone is enough to make "Victor/Victoria" a winner. With consummate verve, Andrews sings the lively "Le Jazz Hot", a stage performance that has been mimicked by, it seems, one in ten talent competitors in the Miss America Pageant for the last twenty years. The colorful song "The Shady Dame From Seville" is memorable as a cultural classic. Even the restrained "You And Me" is satisfying, with its old fashioned charm. And Henry Mancini's wistful and slightly melancholy original score adds melodic balance to the flashy stage numbers.
The casting is perfect. I cannot imagine anyone other than Julie Andrews as Victoria. James Garner is fine as King Marchand. And in support roles, Lesley Ann Warren adds sexy spunk as Norma, and Alex Karras is surprisingly effective as Marchand's bodyguard. But it is music man Robert Preston who leads this top notch Hollywood talent parade. Preston is likable throughout, and is a hoot in the film's finale.
If the film has a flaw, it might be in the editing. The plot in Act Two slows down. Or, to say it a little differently, it ... drags (so to speak). The 132 minute runtime is a tad long maybe, and so a few scene deletions here and there might have rendered a slight improvement in the pace. But, this is a minor issue, one that I raise only in my grasping-at-straws attempt to find something to complain about.
"Victor/Victoria" is an expressive, fun, one-of-a-kind musical garden party that easily makes my list of top fifty films ever made.
- Aug 5, 2005