domingo, 19 de janeiro de 2014

Fifth Avenue, 5 A.M.' takes you through the back door of 'Tiffany's By Craig Wilson, USA TODAY

Fifth Avenue, 5 A.M.' takes you through
the back door of 'Tiffany's
By Craig Wilson, USA TODAY

     It's one of the most famous scenes in film history. Audrey Hepburn steps out of a cab in the early morning darkness, looks up at the Tiffany & Co. building on Fifth Avenue, strolls over to a window and begins to nibble on a Danish pastry as she eyes the jewels inside.
Her hair is swept up, her demeanor that of quiet sophistication, her little sleeveless dress is black. Of course.
     If only it were that simple.
     Much has been written about Truman Capote’s novella Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and just as much has been written about the movie of the same name. Author Sam Wasson is now adding his own take on the classic in Fifth Avenue, 5 A.M.: Audrey Hepburn, Breakfast at Tiffany's, and the Dawn of the Modern Women.
     Anyone even slightly interested in Capote/Hepburn/Breakfast at Tiffany's will delight in his account, although a lot of it is old news.
     Yes, Capote was not happy with the film version, with its possibility of multiple endings. Yes, Marilyn Monroe was Capote's first choice for Holly Golightly. Yes, Hepburn didn't even want the part, thinking it was not the image she wanted to project. She didn't like Danish pastries, either. She wanted to eat ice cream in the opening scene, but director Blake Edwards convinced her that ice cream was not for breakfast.
     There were some who didn't even like the movie's now-classic theme, Moon River.
     But through intensive research and interviews, Wasson is able to tell the story from an insider's point of view, giving readers a behind-the-scenes look at what it took to make the movie — the egos, the budget restraints, the folks at Tiffany's who had never before allowed cameras inside. In short, it's a good page-turner even if we do know the ending.
     There are some surprises, too. Hepburn wasn't a beauty?
     "Her legs were too long, her waist was too small, her feet were too big and so were her eyes, nose and the two gaping nostrils in it," writes Wasson. "When she smiled she revealed a mouth that swallowed up her face and a row of jagged teeth that wouldn't look too good in close-ups."
     And then there was Hepburn's virginal image to deal with. Holly Golightly was anything but chaste, and in the puritanical late '50s, nice girls did not sleep around. Did the movie set the stage for the free-sex '60s?
     You be the judge. Just remember what Ms. Golightly believed: Nothing bad can ever happen to you at Tiffany's.
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