Monday, 24 January 2011

Ladies, We Should All Eat Breakfast at Tiffany's Sometimes.

It is the contrasts in the way Audrey Hepburn carries herself that are poetic. She is as upright and neat as the column shape of her dress but the dress is nothing special without the slightly gaudy faux princess shimmer of costume jewellery. It transforms her from Park Avenue princess to lost princess; entirely out of place wandering the streets the morning after whatever party or date happened the night before. The body beneath the column is architectural perfection and yet she is wolfing down a danish.  Without speaking the film has already enchanted us into creating a million backgrounds for this errant and slightly bizarre contradiction of a woman, it has already given us insight into its heroine and confirmed she is iconic. It's a bit like the opening of "BUtterfield 8" where Liz Taylor silently stalks around the apartment of last night's conquest, admiring herself in its mirrors and helping herself to its perfumes and furs as if she were in a department store. Maybe all this standing in front of shop windows and mirrors is part of the female ritual that is all the more captivating on film without the baggage of words.

I took myself out on a little date last night to see "Breakfast at Tiffany's" at BFI Southbank and came away thinking every woman is a princess in waiting no matter how she makes her money or how many material things she is willing to attach herself to, we all seek a little solace at the window of aspirational beauty.  For Holly Golightly escapism is the protective expanse and clean freedom granted by wealth. It is also the assurance of quality and permanence that is Tiffany's. It is ridiculous and yet understandable because Tiffany's signifies a timeless brand with timeless manners that gives her an immemorial "something" to believe in, a way of living where people are courteous and kind and nothing filthy gets lodged under your fingernails, nothing darts too close to the heart to make any lasting dents.  Tiffany's is just enough beauty, just enough emotion to not bowl you over, to not disappoint, to not break your heart (unlike the handsome and emotionally solid George Peppard)  This uncomplicated charm is what a woman like Holly thinks she needs to survive, just enough to mentally digest for her breakfast to fight the 'mean reds' of everyday life; of unutterable grievances and lost dreams. 

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