Audrey Hepburn dazzles.
Fred Astaire shines.
But the romance that's at the heart of Funny Face
is a joke.
This 1957 feature from American director Stanley Donen (Singin' in the Rain) earned four Oscar nominations. Three make absolute sense - cinematography, art direction and costume design. The writing award makes no sense.
stands out because of its impressive cinematography. Kudos to Ray June (Horse Feathers, Houseboat), who died a year after this film was released.
Hepburn is radiant as bookstore employee Jo Stockton who becomes the new face of Quality magazine for women. Dick Avery (Fred Astaire) is the photographer who discovers her for editor Maggie Prescott (a very good Kay Thompson).
Maggie and Dick fall in love. Ewww. There's a 30-year difference between the stars. That's an issue for this film fan.
Plus, Funny Face spends too much time on a really dumb subplot that has Maggie trying to talk philosophy with a professor, Emile Floste (Michael Auclair). Dick, besides not being keen on seeing another man vie for Maggie's attention, figures the academic really wants to make a move on her rather than share intellectual thoughts. "He's more man than philosopher," Dick suggests.
Watch Funny Face for June's work, especially scenes shot outside a church and some great song and dance numbers. Pardon lines such as "You're a cutie with more than beauty." Shot in high fidelity in VistaVision.
FUN FACTS: Kay Thompson only made four films. She's the godmother of Liza Minelli and created the Eloise series for young readers.
Director Stanley Donen helmed several musicals in the 1950s including Singin' in the Rain and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. He's still alive at the time of this writing.
Tuesday, November 25, 2014
Funny Face (1957)
Reel Popcorn Junkie is a reporter with a newspaper in the province of Ontario in Canada. He began writing film reviews when he was a student at Brock University in St. Catharines, Ont. Reel Popcorn Junkie continues to write entertainment copy for a daily newspaper, but not film reviews. Reel Popcorn Junkie always orders a regular popcorn, with no butter, when he attends the cinema.