Friday, 13 April 2012

Sometimes I Cry Because Audrey Hepburn

When people say "Oh, who's your favourite Hepburn?" I'm like, whut? I don't get it. How can you choose between two such different performers? If I had to choose it would probably be Kate Hepburn because of my special connection to her and her story and personality, but I have to say that I'm loving Audrey right now. I watched Two For The Road (1967) the other day and I didn't really like it. I found it mildly interesting but like many films of that genre - it left me cold. However, it wasn't Audrey's performance that did it (it was Albert Finney and the best script for the record). I was reminded of her brilliance when I saw a photoset from Roman Holiday.

One of my 9 year old sister's friends came over a little while ago and she was stumped. She loves to show her friends the old movies we watch - however her chats of showing them The Thin Man and maybe they could watch A Stolen Life disconcert me a little. I'm just like, "sis, I'm glad I've trained you so well but I'm not quite sure your pre-teen homies really want to watch women thrown off boats or a sophisticated couple drinking martinis and dodging gunfire - much as it pains me to say it." So we settled on Roman Holiday on our projector screen. Of course I weedled my way into the screening. It was ROMAN HOLIDAY on a big screen? How could I resist? I don't quite know what the friend made of the teenage sister who came in wearing a Joni Mitchell style poncho and her hair in a messy topknot exclaiming "You know that scene? That was improvised loveliness and Gregory Peck, OMG OMG OMG." Ah well. Haters gonna hate.

When I watched it I remembered just what an astounding actress she was. Everyone's like "Oh yeah, she was too skinny and she's started this whole bad body image thing," or "Well, she was pretty and stylish but all I remember of her movies is Breakfast At Tiffany's." I think there was so much more to her than that. In my favourite of all her movies, Sabrina (1954) she shows her acting chops by equalling if not bettering HumphreyBogart's still wonderful performance. Her parts are never easy, but she still manages to give each of them their own life, not falling back into her own personality as her fallback for the parts - as many actresses would be tempted to do.

Everything from her lush Technicolor musicals (Funny Face, My Fair Lady) to her thrillers (Charade), to her beautiful performances in famous romantic-comedy-dramas like Roman Holiday and Sabrina, she always added something different and something special. She had a quality I've only seen equalled by a few people.

She's something special. I don't like her in the same way that most do. If I asked many of my friends if they liked Audrey Hepburn they'd say "Yes, she was so stylish and beautiful. I've seen her in that movie with the cat where she eats danish pastries and I thought it was beautiful." That's a very valid answer, it's just that sometimes I feel like I'm in a little club of my own for the people who actually appreciate her as an actress and not just a clothes horse. Anyway, the title comes from the fact that I saw a few gifs from Roman Holiday (the haircut scene and the end scene where she has to leave Gregory Peck) and I actually felt a bit teary remembering the story and then how perfect Audrey Hepburn was and all that jazz.

{Source - ALL MY CREYS}

I swear everyone else in the world decides to go to Titanic and cry and all we classic hollywood fangirl/boys have to do is looks at a picture of one of our favourites and the tears start a gushin'. What about you? What's your favourite Audrey movie? Do you think she's a good actress as well as a beautiful style icon?



Clara said...

Hey Bette,

Of course I agree with everything you said. I think Audrey was simply an awesome actress. I think I've watched every film she made, including those early ones were she spoke in French and I didn't get anything. She had great timing for comedy, she could do drama (I really love "Two for the road" and "The Nun's story"); plus she had an amazing screen presence.

The fashion icon thing, for me, comes like in the fourth place. The second is her humanitarian work and her kindness. I wish I could be more like her, to irradiate that peace and that wisdom, even when she suffered so much as a teenager with Word War II. The third is I wish I could speak so many languages like she did :) I really admire her. And you know when I actually cried because of her? One night, when the whole house was sleeping, I listened to the "Audrey Hepburn's enchanted tales" with my earphones. Bette, I tell you, that sweet, kind, gone voice telling me children stories, just broke my heart.

Loverly post!


PS: Nice you're using the Ingrid Bergman font on the header. I'm planning to release a new font (it's inspired in handwritten letters from an actress YOU love) but it still has some technical issues with Macs. Hope I can find someone who fix it soon :)

Rianna said...

I feel the same way! She was such a good actress & I don't think she gets enough credit for it. I love fashion & pretty clothes & her style for sure, but I also think she was much more than a fashion plate. She could really act and she was also really good at comedy, like, Love in the Afternoon? That's SUCH a clever movie honestly. She's definitely more then people make her out to be, so I'm in that little club with you. -;) {And the favorite Hepburn question, oh gosh, I'd rather take a bullet through the head lol! And wow, your 9 year old sister watches The Thin Man & Bette Davis dramas? You've trained her well!}

KimWilson said...

My favorite Audrey Hepburn film is My Fair Lady followed closely by A Nun's Story. She was stylish and beautiful in most of her films, but the two that I like the most exhibit her acting talent.

Libby said...

I think she is a stunning actress, but I think that her style and her grace and general person-ness are an integeral part of her celebrityness. Like, if you think of a modern performer--say, Jennifer Lawrence or Josh Hutcherson!!!--they are talented at their passion, but so much comes along with it. You are photographed by the paparazzi, there's a lot of interviews, maybe you work with a charity, or like Hutcherson do that thing about being gay, or perhaps you release a perfume or a clothing range or an autobiography. And all that stuff is part of what comes along with fame, but it doesn't stop you being a talented actress.
Basically I'm rambling but--I like her clothes but what is more important was her talent and also that she was a properly lovely person.
And ohmygawd Gregory Peck!!! Roman Holiday... I can't even.

silverscreenings said...

She was amazing on screen - beautiful, talented, believable. I'm not a huge fan of My Fair Lady, but even here she stole every scene. ... Now, I know this defeats the purpose of your post, but I feel compelled to say I loved EVERY SINGLE THING she wore in Breakfast at Tiffany's. She was a tremendous actor and a style icon.

Anonymous said...

Indeed she was exquisite. A veritable talent throughout her career and such a genuine humanitarian in life as well. I feel her benevolent counterpart can only be exemplified by Mr. Peck. Having watched the gif play over a few times now the scene evokes so much emotion in the film and outside as well.Gregory Peck gets me every time. Old Hollywood is a gem. It sparkles quite brilliantly ! - J. W.

P.S. Recently a friend commented on rare cancer type (appendaceal) her cousin has, after googling it i found that Ms.Hepburn succumbed to the very same rarity.

Leah said...

I love Audrey. Not only is she a style icon, I think she was an amazing actress. Her facial expressions were just the best. It annoys me that most people have never seen any of her movies but just think she's "pretty" or "stylist" or "iconic".

Martin Turnbull (the Garden of Allah novels) said...

The thing about Audrey is that she had an utterly unique persona that nobody else could touch. Like all great stars, nobody else was like her. I'm always rather shocked when people pooh-pooh her, or say they don't like her. How could you not like Audrey Hepburn?, I wonder. She could do it all and do it like nobody else on the screen, before or since.

Amanda said...

It's funny how the two Hepburn were poles apart in real life ... Katharine being utterly egocentric and Audrey devoted to many causes ...etc.

I have to admit I've seen few movies of her but I love Funny Face and Charade.
Oddly enough I've never watched Roman Holiday or my Fair Lady, afraid of being disappointed perhaps...

Have you ever heard of her movie "Arianne"?

Regretsmyl said...


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