“I’m just crazy about Tiffany’s!”
Today is October 5th, fifty five years since the iconic film Breakfast at Tiffany’s premiered in New York.
It’s a wonderful film adapted from the wonderful book by Truman Capote. It’s one of those stories that doesn’t really have a coherent plot line to it (especially the book), & instead aims to describe a feeling or atmosphere about a certain time. This film shows the two lives of Holly Golightly & Paul Varjak meeting in New York when Paul moves in above Holly. He, a writer is intrigued & enraptured by Holly, a playful Manhattan socialite who lives alone with a nameless cat.
Breakfast at Tiffany’s is one of my favourite films. It’s so stylish & totally unique in that it’s a film about characters & not about them falling in love. Both leads are flawed & troubled yet strong willed & stubborn & always with an amazing wardrobe. Holly is wildly unpredictable in everything she does but always totally honest in her emotions, & it’s her quote about the “mean reds” that I like most.
Yet there’s moments between all the madness where we get to see a different side to Holly – like in Moon River. Now one of the most famous movie songs of all time, its surprising to think that it was once almost scrapped from the film after an executive deemed it too dull. But it’s this serene moment with Holly at her window playing guitar & waiting for her hair to dry that makes the character such a beautifully lovable one.
This film will also always hold a special place in my heart as to me, & so many others, it was my first introduction to Audrey Hepburn. I adore her, & one look at my Roman Holiday phone case or the framed prints around my room can tell you I’m quite the fan now. I was awestruck by Audrey as Holly, I’d never seen an actress or a character like her before in my life. One of my favourite gifts I’ve ever recieved was actually a copy of Audrey’s script book from Breakfast at Tiffany’s, complete with all her scribbles inside.
I also went as Holly Golightly to a fancy dress birthday party when I was fifteen &I let me tell you that hairdo took a team.
Obviously there are some aspects to it that haven’t stood the test of time: most notably Mickey Rooney’s white-washed & racist yellow-face portrayal of Japanese character Mr Yunioshi.
While Rooney said he was upset to hear it offended some people but never heard anything but praise for it personally. director Blake Edwards says the casting was the one thing he regretted about the film. You can say that Hollywood’s learnt that lesson now, but white-washing is a massive problem with caucasian actors like Scarlett Johansson, Emma Stone & Tilda Swinton all taking roles of Asian characters in the past two years.
Holly Golightly as the lead will always be classed as an American literary icon. She is elegant, beautiful & quite scandalous: self described as the “top banana in the shock department!”. She’s a lost girl on an endless quest to realise who she is & what she’s doing & always always believes the best in people which does end land her in a trouble regularly. She’s a darling character with so many sides to her & that’s why she continues to enrapture the whole world.
Of course, it’s still regarded as one of the most influential fashion films of all time. Fifty five years on & Holly’s Little Black Dresses are still some of the most iconic around, & the Givenchy dress from the poster & the opening sequence in the film is still considered to be one of the most famous & recognisable looks from cinematic history. The rest of the film is just the same, a mixture of a few designer gowns all worn with different accessories to make a whole new outfit – at one point Holly even wears a curtain as a gown (& she wears it very well).
There is a love story to the film adaptation that isn’t so prominent in the book. But still in the film, it isn’t the main focus – yes it’s the grand finale but it’s not really about the two characters finally getting together, it’s about Holly finally allowing herself to be true in something, & to stop shielding herself from reality.
Breakfast at Tiffany’s is a hard story to describe. It’s not simple, it’s not all coherent or necessary but each bit is beautiful – much like Holly herself.
If you haven’t seen this film, do make it one to watch. It’s a classic for a reason, & really does give you that weird sort of happy sad that makes you really love films. If anything it’s worth seeing for a brilliant cat & a fabulous wardrobe.