5/3/12: Breakfast at Tiffany’s

“There once was a very lovely, very frightened girl. She lived alone except for a nameless cat.”

Today would have been Audrey Hepburn’s 83rd birthday – the star of Blake Edwards’ Breakfast at Tiffany’s – had she not been taken from us at the much to young age of 63 on January 20, 1993. I consider this Audrey’s best performance, and she did receive one of her 5 Best Actress Oscar Nominations as Holly Golightly – an early 60’s, liberated, sexy, New York hipster who just loves having Breakfast at Tiffany’s – or is she? Although she’s brilliant as Holly, Hepburn didn’t win the Oscar in 1962 at the 34th Academy Awards Ceremony. It went to Sophia Loren as Cesira in Two Women. Her other Nominations were for Wait Until Dark, The Nun’s Story, and Sabrina; and she won the Oscar in 1954 at the 26th Academy Awards for her role as Princess Anne in Roman Holiday. She was also voted the recipient Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Academy Award 8 days before she died. Her son, Sean Ferrer, accepted for her posthumously at the 65th Oscars.

The film is based on Truman Capote’s novel, and the screenplay adaptation by George Axelrod afforded him an Oscar Nomination. Tiffany’s also received an Oscar Nomination for Color Art Direction, and won two Oscars, both for the amazing music in the film: Score for a Drama or Comedy – Henry Mancini; and Song – Moon River, Henry Mancini (music) & Johnny Mercer (lyrics). The two men won 3 other Oscars, including another Best Song collaboration the following year for The Days of Wine & Roses. The late Blake Edwards, who directed 39 movies including The Days of Wine of Roses, is fabulous in directing this moving film. Although he never received an Oscar Nomination as a director – only for Adapted Screenplay 21 years later for Victor Victoria – he received an Honorary Oscar for his body of work in ’04 at the 76th Academy Awards.

There are many great performances in this movie about love for pets, self-exploration, the sexual revolution, insecurity, personal history, and mainly…romantic love. Mickey Rooney plays Mr. Yunioshi, a stereotypical Japanese photographer. George Peppard is wonderful as Paul Varjak, Holly’s love interest. And Buddy Epsen is great in his small role as Doc. Patricia Neal, who won the Best Actress Oscar two years later as Alma Brown in Hud, is remarkable as 2E, a creepy cougar decades before that meaning was coined. She was a frequent visitor to Connecticut and was buried at the Abbey of Regina Laudis in Bethlehem, where her good friend Dolores Hart is Reverend Mother. Watch for her Cruella de Vil outfit towards the end of the film. The animated Disney classic came out 10 months earlier than Tiffany’s.

For those of you in the Greater Waterbury area, Blake Edwards’ Breakfast at Tiffany’s is being shown on the big screen at the Rave Southington on Monday May 7 at 3:00 for just $3. And that includes a small popcorn & a small soft drink!!


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