El blog del curso Crítica de Arte II (UPRM)

Por: Kiara Liane Meléndez Cruz

Funny Face is a Musical, Romantic with a hint of comedy released in 1957. Stanley Donen directed this film, with leading actresses Audrey Hepburn (who played Jo Stockton in the film) and Fred Astaire (who played Dick Avery). The film tells the story of an intellectual girl who stumbles into the world of fashion with the help of a charming photographer who suddenly wants to make her a fashion idol for the magazine “Quality women”, but at the same time, unexpectedly falling in love with each other. “Funny Face” is the typical Cinderella story with a twist and at the same time the emblematic love story with the typical plot. The couple meets, fall in love, they have a problem and at the end they get back together and live happily ever after.

This film is hard to criticize when you are just so in love with the actors in it and such a big fan of musicals in their glory years. The musicals of that time are something like a fairy tale filled with glamour, exquisite music and well thought sets. There is no doubt about it that the actor and cast were some of the best Hollywood could offer, starting with Fred Astaire and his magical dancing feet and his lovely unbeatable voice; and the lovely Audrey Hepburn that always dazzles us with her beauty, elegance and poise. She shines with her very own spotlight and surprisingly dancing beautifully alongside Fred. The great Kay Thompson who played the unforgettable Maggie Prescott cannot be forgotten either.

All of these things make this film a classic and one of the treasures of the American film musical. However all of this things can’t hide the fact that the script of this film is too simple and not that good, starting with the fact that it doesn’t give you sufficient information about the characters and their different situations. Unfortunately, one of the biggest mistakes of this film was the age difference in the main characters. It was very noticeable, and in a way disturbing, that such a young gal would fall in love with and old gentleman. It doesn’t seem like they are falling in love. It looks a bit fake, cold and unnatural, maybe because it doesn’t seem like there is chemistry between them. It’s almost a surprise every time they kiss and show affection; it would have worked better with a younger leading man.

Even though I am a big fan of Audrey Hepburn, I have to say that her singing in this film was not the best. This may be because if we compare her with Fred and Kay her voice seems to lack something, but it seems almost unnoticeable besides her beauty and charm. However, we have to remember this is a film about the fashion world and fashion photography. Nevertheless, it was fashion photography and Richard Avedon work, which inspired Leonard Greshe the writer of the screenplay. Director Stanly Donen then hired Avedon as a “special visual consultant” and worked along side Donen to create the films centerpieces like the fashion layout of Audrey Hepburn modeling through different places of Paris, he also created the fashion sequence in the number “think pink”. We can’t finish without talking about the fabulous costume designers of this film. The fabulous Edith head and the magnificent Hubert Givenchy who created all of the costumes Audrey Hepburn wore in “Paris”. For their stupendous work the film was nominated for an academy award for costume design. Unfortunately only Edith Head received an Oscar because Hubert didn’t appear in the screen credits. Funny Face was nominated for a number of awards but only won the award for “National Board of Review “. Even thought Funny Face was not a giant success it achieves immortality in the eyes and heart of every one that watches it and for that Funny Face will forever be unforgettable.

Funny Face (movie – 1957)

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