Friday, February 01, 2013

Past Perfect: Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961)

Home movie gems from the past few decades that need some dusting but never get old.

Breakfast

I was a latecomer to this timeless gem of a movie, and inevitably I had built up my own (incorrect) impressions of what the film would be like, based on the countless posters, imagery and little black dresses (not for me, of course) that have resulted from Audrey Hepburn’s look in this film. But when I actually sat down to savour it, without having any idea of the plot or concept, I was very pleasantly surprised. Despite looking like the most fragile and beautiful creature on earth Hepburn’s Miss Golightly is a feisty character if ever there was one, as she waltzes through life appearing tipsy but actually knowing exactly what she’s after. By the time Paul (George Peppard, or Hannibal from The A-Team before his hair turned white), falls for her, so had I. With the audience wrapped around her skinny finger, Hepburn can then cause all the more heartbreak and frustration with her seemingly spur-of-the-moment decisions. The ending veers slightly from that in Truman Capote’s book, which I then looked up and devoured. The film and the book seem like slightly different versions of the same story, but they’re both a showcase for artists at the height of their talent. There’s also a wonderful party scene thrown in, and of course Henry Mancini’s music, which you’ll be humming for days.

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