Quick Hit: A slow burn of a romance, Hepburn gives a solid performance, as does George Peppard.
There’s not too many that haven’t seen Breakfast at Tiffany’s – at least, that’s what I thought before I brought up watching it to a variety of people. Turns out, there’re quite a few people that haven’t seen the classic film from 1961. Starring Audrey Hepburn and George Peppard, the film is forever connected to, well, film. The iconic image of her in the larger hat, smoking the cigarette in the oversized holder is forever in the collective mind of the film community.
It’s largely the images and costumes, as well as the performance of the leads that makes Tiffany’s a story worth watching. The plot itself is rather dull, and that leads to a lot of dialogue and quite a few scenes of Hepburn just riffing it as Golightly. This will undoubtedly lead to several people who aren’t fans of dialogue driven pictures *hint hint – Ms. Schultz* becoming indifferent to the film, or just disliking it outright. But for me, that’s what makes Hepburn’s performance so captivating. She is a bundle of movement at almost all times, even when she’s lying down or sitting. She simply vibrates with energy, which in turn infects Peppard’s performance as Paul/Fred.
As the movie continues, Audrey gets more and more complicated, as does her relationship with Paul/Fred. She’s given a variety of scenes to truly act her heart out – once when we find out something about the past that she has so obviously given up, and once when she gets some bad news. Peppard steps up in some of the scenes where she doesn’t have to work as hard, giving a consistent, solid performance befitting of a male lead.
The music, which won an Oscar, is one of the highlights of the film. The traditional classic Moon River, which won Best Song, is a steady undercurrent throughout the whole film. There is even a moment when Holly is sitting on her fire escape (movies with fire escapes always make me want to live in a big NYC apartment) playing and singing it. It’s a wonderful song, and beautifully illustrates the love that is so obviously happening between our characters.
Side note – best character without a name may just be the lovely old Cat.
Overall, despite its formulaic turns, Tiffany’s is definitely worth a watch. There are some scenes that feel out of place, and some that definitely have aged really hard – the racist portrayal of Mr. Yunioshi by Mickey Rooney makes you cringe – but it’s a solid movie, if unremarkable, for a classic. I’m giving Breakfast at Tiffany’s a “B”.
For more on this movie check out IMDB.
"All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy"