Visual Xanax: Don’t Leave Your Bed Behind

If we’re being honest, most Mondays are spent racking our brains and closets, working on acceptable ways to wear the duvet all day.

Audrey has the right idea. If you can keep cozy and look this chic, you’re doing something right. So take heart – Mondays aren’t all bad –  you can bring the bed with you.

Photo: Audrey Hepburn by Richard Avedon, Harper’s Bazaar, September 1961

A Polaroid to Remember: Shots From On Set

Even if taken yesterday, there’s a certain something about polaroid photos that evokes a sense of stillness—a frozen in time quality with the warm sense of memory. And when it comes to film sets, polaroids run rampant for the sake of continuity with make up and such, but also provide a candid look behind-the-scenes at the making of a moment and what was like to truly inhabit it. There’s simply something lingering in the instant held image that you’re not going to gain so easily from snapping a few shots with your iPhone—or at least, that’s how it feels to me.

But from back in the days of Blade Runner to the most recent of film sets, it’s a pleasure to peruse the polaroids found floating around the feature, giving us insight into the on-set life and providing our favorite actors and scenes with even more character and charm. And thanks to the good folks over at Flavorwire, who have unearthed some of the best polaroid shots from your favorite films, you can get a closer glimpse at a young Johnny Depp, a demure Audrey Hepburn, a resting Gillian Anderson and many more. Take a look at some of our favorites below and see the rest HERE.

 

The X-Files, Gillian Anderson

 

 

Blade Runner, Harrison Ford and Sean Young

 

 

Audrey Hepburn, Breakfast at Tiffany’s

 

 

 

Where The Buffalo Roam, Bill Murray and Hunter S. Thompson

 

 

Winona Ryder, Girl, Interuppted

 

 

New York, New York, Liza Minnelli and Martin Scorsese

 

Kate Winslet and Jim Carrey, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Main Image: Johnny Depp, Benny & Joon

‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ on Broadway: Not Your Mother’s Holly Golightly

With all due respect to Ford Madox Ford, Breakfast at Tiffany’s is the saddest story I’ve ever read. Black hats and mid-century New York aside, the story of “living by your own rules…loving on your own terms…and wearing your heart on your sleeve” (as the official Broadway site enthusiastically describes the plot) was never meant to be happy. Expecting it to be, as the heroine Holly Golightly herself might have said, would be tres fou.

The popular Audrey Hepburn / George Peppard movie abandoned gloom in favor of a happy ending but now, thank goodness, with the Sean Mathias directed production that premiered last night, there is finally a play that encompasses the intended pathos of the novella.

Breakfast at Tiffany’s is, at least in my mind, always a story about Truman Capote’s fantasy of having a relationship with his mother.

On the book’s release, there was great controversy over who Holly Golightly was modeled after. Capote basically told every woman he knew that she was the inspiration for Holly, but he also contended that anyone who really knew him would recognize the character easily.

Since Truman, like Holly, had few real friends, not many people considered the fact that Holly clearly seems to have been based on the author’s mother. While Holly’s original name was Lula Mae Barnes, his mother’s was Lillie Mae Bart. She was a Southern orphan who, after a brief teenage marriage, left young Truman behind with relatives and fled to New York. Truman claimed his earliest memories were of her having affairs with strange men in hotel rooms. In New York she did have a successful run as a social climber. She changed her name to Nina and married a dashing Cuban businessman who, unfortunately, later ended up in Sing Sing. After she ran out of money, she committed suicide.

His lover later recounted Truman waiting to take a bus home—he could only afford a bus—to attend her funeral, plaintively saying, “She didn’t have to do it. She didn’t have to die. I’ve got money.”

If that’s true, it’s an autobiographical tale—and a terribly sad one.

Truman always said he wanted Marilyn Monroe to play Holly. I don’t think that’s because she would have made a good Holly—she wouldn’t, even in the much cheerier movie version there is a certain toughness to Holly that the actress could never have summoned—but because Marilyn Monroe also understood what it was to be motherless. She might not have embraced the character, but would have understood the themes of the story perfectly.

The novella works very well because it plays so closely upon the themes of loneliness and the desire to belong that Capote experienced throughout his life. The movie works very well because Audrey Hepburn looks dishy in a black dress, and because Henry Mancini composes lovely music.

The play works well—very well—because it is true to the original theme.

Emilia Clarke is playing a very different character than the one Audrey Hepburn made her own. Hepburn’s Holly charmed the viewer, Clarke—and Capote’s—Holly is faceted; she charms one minute and then repulses the next. She is astonishing in her ability to seem utterly warm and convivial with Fred (Cory Michael Smith), and then convincingly turn on him, telling him that he’s an intellectual snob, or she finds his stories boring, or has no desire to support him.  

Much of the play, and the novella, hinges upon Fred’s unsuccessful attempts to convince Holly that she should feel some manner of connection or loyalty to him, a goal in which he never quite succeeds. She is not, as Hepburn’s Golightly, simply playing at being a wild thing. She is truly feral, and giving everyone around her sound practical advice when she tells them, “If you try to love a wild thing, you’ll just end up looking at the sky.”

She also has an utterly insane voice, which is fitting if you assume that this is a character desperately trying not to be from any one particular place. And she is naked in a tub at one point. You’ll see much more skin on any episode of Game of Thrones, but if you are the kind of person who looks for nudity at the theater, well, it is there.

Cory Michael Smith, similarly, is not playing a dashing George Peppard character although, mercifully, neither is he channeling Truman Capote directly. (There are moments in the play, such as sending out a deliberately provocative picture of himself to go along with his stories, that are pulled straight from Capote’s life). He plays Fred as a fresh-faced young lad excited to be in the city. You are left wondering why Fred remains so desperate for Holly’s approval. If the character is heterosexual it’s enough simply to say that he desires Holly. However, having him, accurately, played as a homosexual demands a greater explanation as to why he remains so devoted to a woman who so frequently turns on him. There is something about Smith’s entirely likeable performance that seems, perhaps, not quite damaged enough to answer this question.

“Abandonment was the theme of the evening,” Fred says at one point in the play, when Holly has, only recently, abandoned him. “Oh, were you abandoned? By who?” she replies.

So: abandonment and its lasting impact are the theme of the evening and that of the play. You should expect to hear many women, all from Dubuque, leaving the theater and murmuring forlornly that it was not a happy play.

It may be best to combat that reaction by not expecting it to be a happy play. It is not a love story. It is a story about longing for love. And it plays that out perfectly.

Jennifer Ashley Wright is Editor in Chief of The Gloss. Follow her on Twitter.

Cats on Broadway Get A Whole New Meaning With Adorable Audition

Last week, BlackBook Senior Editor Tyler Coates, who also mans the Cats beat so no one else has to, informed us about a special production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s legendary musical featuring more than 3,000 performers. But what about a New York theatre outing for those lovers of the stage who are feline-friendly, but find the idea of a megaproduction of Cats utterly terrifying? Thanks to the newly revived Breakfast at Tiffany’s, you’re in luck.

The NYT (ON IT!) sent an intrepid reporter to visit the auditions of two rescue cats competing for the role of Holly Golightly’s cat in the show. The ginger Vito Vincent is levelheaded and curls gently into the male lead’s arms. His competition, Monty, is a bit more of a diva—leaping off stage mid-scene, ignoring the commands of his trainer and carrying himself like he owns the place. Please. Get a few more credits under your belt before you have that kind of attitude, Monty.

While Monty steals much of the screen time, Vito would be more of a traditional casting decision, with a coloring closer to that of Orangey, who played the role alongside Audrey Hepburn in the film. Orangey also won two Patsy awards, the animal kingdom equivalent of the Oscar, so, you know, the bar’s pretty high, cats. You’ve gotta earn that kitty EGOT. Watch Vito and Monty act their tails off below.

[via Jezebel]

Accessorize Like Audrey

Arrive in style with this oh-so-chic Audrey Hepburn necklace ($28) from Fred Flare. As if the Breakfast at Tiffany‘s photo wasn’t enough, this timepiece pendant doubles as a miniature mirror, so you can touch up your lipstick and hair while on the go. So take a tip from Miss Golightly herself and make sure you are always on time (or fashionably late), looking absolutely fabulous, and always, always remember to stay classy.

Fans of this particular Audrey flick, before you’re ready to accessorize make sure you get some shut-eye, Audrey-style. Even a party gal like Miss Golightly knew the importance of beauty sleep. Get some sleep with the Holly GoNightly sleep mask ($14) and wake up looking movie star fabulous and, of course, well rested!

image

QVC Beauty Poll Offers Hope

Between the youngs and the olds, the internets and the vuvuzelas, and Larry King’s heartrending departure, it all can seem rather bleak at times. Here’s some good news, sorta. In a recent QVC poll (apparently they’re not just selling crap), Audrey Hepburn was named the most beautiful woman of the past century, beating out the likes of Cheryl Cole and Angelina Jolie.

Cole got the runner-up spot, while Marilyn Monroe earned the third slot. There’s something encouraging about Hepburn’s classic beauty taking the top spot. Her understated glamour—the black Givenchy dress, those gloves, the simple pearls, the elegant undo or classic crop—still looks modern and timeless in a way that we can’t imagine, say, Blake Lively’s artificially coiffed mane will 40 years hence. And we’re almost certain that women opting for “dimpleplasty” surgeries to look more like Cheryl Cole won’t be looking so hot then, either

To celebrate the start of its Beauty Month, QVC surveyed more 2,000 women (yeah, not the biggest sample), asking them to pick the top beauties of the past 100 years. Grace Kelly and Diana, Princess of Wales, also made the top 10, while Kylie Minogue, Beyonce, and Audrey Tatou were just outside of it.

10 of the Hottest Nicotine-Fueled Performances in Film History

The anti-smoking watchdog group Smoke Free Movies threw a mini-fit about Avatar, in particular Sigourney Weaver’s character and her cylindrical vice, prompting director James Cameron to start another intergalactic war. Actually, he just issued a measured statement to the New York Times in which he agreed that “young role-model characters should not smoke in movies,” but pushed back, asking “If it’s okay for people to lie, cheat, steal and kill in PG 13 movies, why impose an inconsistent morality when it comes to smoking?” A fair point indeed, but consider this: it doesn’t have to be a moral issue because smoking just looks so goddamn cool. Especially on screen.

(‘DiggThis’)Ten years ago, Carina Chocano wrote a hilarious, but heartfelt essay entitled “I am a smoker,” in which she stood up for the addicted among us. She mused: “I smoke because I adore being lectured. Because we owe it to the Indians. Because cigarettes keep me company without getting on my nerves. Because half the point of having a vice is pissing off the virtuous.” Not to mention the “scorching good looks” and “searing wit!” (Friends‘ Chandler made a similar argument.) But have these chemical-addled battle cries died in favor of righteous politicking?

Not so fast, says Times film critic A.O. Scott in his post published yesterday, “Movies and Vices: Made for Each Other.” He drops pretense, admitting that “the only thing that looks better in black and white than a highball glass is a plume of cigarette smoke.” And while it might fall out of real world fashion, “an on-screen smoke should remain an available pleasure, a signifier of the kind of romance only movies can deliver.” Preach it, Tony.

So lest we forget how good our favorite film stars look with a ciggie dangling from their lips — across genres and generations — we’ve collected a small gallery celebrating ten of film’s hottest smokers, presented without comment. Because a cigarette says a thousand words.

image Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca (1942)

image Jean-Paul Belmondo in Breathless (1960)

image Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961)

image John Travolta in Grease (1978)

image River Phoenix in Stand By Me (1986)

image Bruce Willis in Die Hard (1988)

image Uma Thurman in Pulp Fiction (1994)

image Kevin Spacey in The Usual Suspects (1995)

image Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct (1992)

image Johnny Depp in Chocolat (2000)

Links: Spike Jonze + Kanye West, Sara Michelle Gellar & ‘Buffy’ Movie

● After being rejected by Heather Locklear, Melrose Place producers have gone pretty far down the list to find a replacement — enter Laura Leighton a.k.a. Sydney Andrews, who hasn’t been seen since the fifth season. [ComingSoon] ● Spike Jonze will reunite with Kanye West (Jonze directed the “Flashing Lights” music video) for a 10-15 minute short film. [EW] ● Even though they said their last tour was it, are Destiny’s Child getting back together? Their contract seems to think so; turns out the DC ladies owe their label one more album. [EOI]

● Is Viggo Mortensen pulling a Joaquin Phoenix and quitting acting for good? Trend Alert. [P6] ● Audrey Hepburn beat pouty Angelina Jolie as the “ultimate Hollywood beauty.” [Telegraph] ● Seeing that Sarah Michelle Gellar’s movie career hasn’t exactly taken off, it makes sense that she’s contemplating a Buffy movie. [Showbizspy]