Friday, October 10, 2008

BREAKFAST AT TIFFANYS (Blake Edwards, 1961, USA) Audrey Hepburn stars in her signature role as Holliday Golightly; the frightened and lonely girl who makes a holiday of life, but walks through it lightly. Holly appears to be a fun-loving, independent, and successful “entrepreneur” but she’s really a fake…though a real fake. Unlike Truman Capote’s original story, the film doesn’t explicitly portray Holly as a prostitute though she accepts $50 for “trips to the powder-room” from rats and super-rats. She surrounds herself with superficial people and has no close friends or emotionally intimate confidants. When she’s feeling the “mean-reds” she likes to go to Tiffany’s early in the morning…hence the title. Then she meets Jack: she doesn’t bother to ask him his real name and decides to just call him Jeff because he looks like her brother. This shows her self-centered and egocentric world-view and that she expects everyone to cater to her needs; if they don’t then they’re just another rat. George Peppard as Jack/Jeff is a gigolo who has allowed himself to be caged by a wealthy MILF (the always classy Patricia Neal) and falls in love with his neighbor Holly. He despises his current position and admires Holly’s free spirit but soon learns that she is running and hiding, not just from her past but from herself. Jack believes that to love is to own, to possess another person and Holly doesn’t want to be caged; she doesn’t want to be named…like Cat. Through years of self-delusion she has caged herself and it’s not until Jack walks away, that he finally lets go and is out of her control, that Holly embraces him and Cat for a lovely and desperate rain-soaked union. The only blemish is Mickey Rooney’s racist caricature of the upstairs tenant Mr. Yunioshi. A romantic story that is surprisingly deep for a Hollywood production thanks to the excellent source material…and Audrey! (A)

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