1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fashion and Fancy
Here we have a story of fashion and romance. Givenchy provides the fashionable clothes. George and Ira Gershwin provide the music to set the scene for romance. Audrey Hepburn and Fred Astaire provide the romantic intrigue, costarring Kay Thompson for added comic relief. The story takes place in New York City and in Paris on the Seine River in France. These choice...
Published on April 22 2003 by Claude Prevots
3.0 out of 5 stars My Least Favorite Audrey Hepburn Movie
I feel that I should have really enjoyed this movie. After all, it is a musical and a love story, it takes place in Paris, and it has Audrey Hepburn as the star. Normally, only two of those need to apply and I am hooked.
Not to be misunderstood, there are some very good things about this movie. Audrey Hepburn is lovely, as always, and having to believe she is a...
Published on July 17 2000 by Amazon Customer
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fashion and Fancy,
Here we have a story of fashion and romance. Givenchy provides the fashionable clothes. George and Ira Gershwin provide the music to set the scene for romance. Audrey Hepburn and Fred Astaire provide the romantic intrigue, costarring Kay Thompson for added comic relief. The story takes place in New York City and in Paris on the Seine River in France. These choice ingredients mix well to give the viewer an inviting slice of life in the fashion world, seen as songs, dances and splendid fashion shows. There is even a spoof of French philosophy. With excellent timing and camera work, and the consultancy of Richard Avedon, this film and its story present a happy moment to be revisited by an engaged film fan. Director Stanley Donen has made it happen with a screenplay by Leonard Gershe, and choreography by Eugene Loring and Fred Astaire.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Ultimate Fashion Musical!,
Anyone who loves Breakfast at Tiffany's and Roman Holiday knows that Audrey Hepburn is one of the most magical women ever captured on film. But there is something special about Funny Face. It captured a part of the real Audrey -- part book worm, part great dancer, part reluctant star. The "On How to be Lovely" scene with Patricia Neal is one of the most glorious moments in film. You just cannot help but smile when they start singing that song. It will make you fall in love with Audrey over and over again!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Audrey Hepburn certainly wasn't anything to laugh at,
Audrey Hepburn had a unique quality that she could sing(yes,sing)dance and act.She has a most touching scene where she is a bookstore librarian that is very distraught after having the bookstore she works for turned upside down.She sings an old Gershwin tune "How long has been going on" which coming from Audrey,is from her heart and soul. She then dances two numbers with Fred Astaire with sheer perfection. Words cannot describe what a beautiful actress she was-Audrey,you were truly amazing and lovely to look at.
5.0 out of 5 stars Funny Face  [Blu-ray] [UK Release],
This review is from: Funny Face [Blu-ray] [Import] (Blu-ray)
Funny Face  [Blu-ray] [UK Release] S’WONDEFUL, S’MARVELOUS!
In the Academy Award® nominated classic, Audrey Hepburn and Fred Astaire join forces in lending their song and dance talents to the timeless and classic film musical. When fashion magazine mogul Maggie Prescott [Kay Thompson] and her head photographer Dick Avery [Fred Astaire] (based on real-life cameraman Richard Avedon was both a visual consultant on Funny Face) scout out a bookstore for their next photo shoot. Dick discovers the unique face of bookseller and amateur philosopher Jo Stockton [Audrey Hepburn] and is soon whisked off to Paris. Jo is soon transformed into a global supermodel . . . and finds herself falling for the photographer, who first noticed her sunny, funny face.
FILM FACT: The National Board of Review gave the film Special Citation award for the photographic innovations. Leonard Gershe was nominated for "Best Written American Musical" by the Writers Guild of America. Stanley Donen was nominated by the Directors Guild of America for "Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures" and for a "Golden Palm" at the 1957 Cannes Film Festival. Fred Astaire received a Golden Laurel nomination for "Top Male Musical Performance". The film received four Academy Award "Oscar" nominations: Leonard Gershe for "Best Writing, Story and Screenplay - Written Directly for the Screen"; Edith Head and Hubert de Givenchy (Hepburn's costume designer) for "Best Costume Design"; Ray June for "Best Cinematography"; and Hal Pereira, George W. Davis, Sam Comer, and Ray Moyer for "Best Art Direction-Set Decoration".
Actors: Audrey Hepburn, Fred Astaire, Kay Thompson, Michel Auclair, Robert Flemyng, Dovima, Suzy Parker, Sunny Harnett, Jean Del Val, Virginia Gibson, Sue England, Ruta Lee, Alex Gerry and Iphigenie Castiglioni
Director: Stanley Donen
Producer: Roger Edens
Screenwriter: Leonard Gershe
Music and Lyrics: George Gershwin, Ira Gershwin and Adolph Deutsch (main score)
Cinematography: Ray June
Audio: English: 5.1 TrueHD Dolby, French: 1.0 Mono, German: 1.0 Mono, Italian: 1.0 Mono, Japanese: 5.1 Dolby Digital and Spanish: 1.0 Mono
Subtitles: English, English SDH, Danish, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Norwegian, Spanish and Swedish
Resolution: 1080p [Technicolor]
Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1 [VistaVison]
Running Time: 103 minutes
Region: All Regions
Number of discs: 1
Studio: Paramount Home Entertainment
Andrew's Blu-ray Review – Pizzazz! The very word came into being with Funny Face in 1957. Stylish and energetic, Funny Face is a collaboration extraordinaire involving some of the great talents of the era: Producer Roger Edens and director Stanley Donen, screenwriter Leonard Gershe, cinematographer Ray June, costumer Edith Head, couture designer Hubert de Givenchy, photographer Richard Avedon and the film's matchless stars Audrey Hepburn, Fred Astaire and Kay Thompson. Sprinkled with an assortment of Gershwin tunes, this is a movie of considerable pizzazz...
‘Funny Face’ had been a work in progress for years, but the vital element that finally brought the project together was Audrey Hepburn. Then under contract to Paramount, Hepburn was a white-hot star at the time and any picture with her name attached had a very good chance of being made. She loved both the script and the opportunity to dance with Fred Astaire and quickly agreed to do the picture. Astaire, then nearing 60, was coming to the end of his career in musical films. Funny Face and Silk Stockings were released within months of each other in 1957 and were his last popular movie musicals.
Kay Thompson, ace vocal coach, arranger and cabaret star, had worked with Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland, Lena Horne and many others during her years in MGM's music department. Gershe had her in mind from the start for the role of Maggie Prescott, a character closely modelled on powerhouse fashion editor and style doyenne of the era, Diana Vreeland. According to Leonard Gershe, it was Vreeland who coined the word `bizzazz' that mutated into `pizzazz.' Thompson as Prescott is an invigorating presence and she steals just about every scene she's in; early on, her "Think Pink!" number kicks Funny Face into high gear...
Ultimately, the success of ‘Funny Face’ belongs just as much to Thompson as it does her two co-stars; the ebullient and ever dapper Fred Astaire and translucently glamorous gamin Audrey Hepburn. To voyage with these three into the unbar chic byways and street cafes of Paris is to be magically teleported on a grand holiday through Parisian haute couture. And Stanley Donen's direction makes Funny Face so much more than mere sumptuous entertainment. It is a wry musical comedy taking a deadly sly poke at the fashionista guru. Under Stanley Donen's expertise and Leonard Gershe's capably crafted screenplay the exclusivity of haute couture evolves from haughty parade into a surreal exploitation of that impressionist and elegant lifestyle. This is a world created by human hands and ego, and, about as far removed from the one we find ourselves a part of at the beginning of our story. But that is precisely why Funny Face succeeds; because it parallels the mundane with the superficially sacred, and elevates the escapism to a most rarefied art form.
‘Funny Face’ is a Cinderella tale, the kind of story that was Audrey Hepburn's bread and butter. The film begins in the offices of Quality magazine where editor Maggie Prescott [KayeThompson] decrees that the world of fashion shall think and wear pink (though she does not)! Soon after, she and photographer Dick Avery [Fred Astaire] venture to bohemian Greenwich Village on a shoot...where bookstore clerk Jo Stockton [Audrey Hepburn], an ugly duckling with swan potential, is unearthed. The plot takes off from here. Cut to Paris where newly made-over model Jo wears exquisite Givenchy haute couture and is gorgeously photographed by Dick everywhere in the City of Light. Songs are sung. Dances are danced. Love blooms. A fairy-tale ending eventually comes to pass. The basic storyline is nothing new, but watching Hepburn, Astaire and Thompson cut loose in New York and Paris (and in song) is so easy on the eyes and ears that in so many ways...'s wonderful.
Ultimately, the success of ‘Funny Face’ belongs just as much to Thompson as it does her two co-stars; the ebullient and ever dapper Fred Astaire and translucently glamorous gamin Audrey Hepburn. To voyage with these three into the unbar chic byways and street cafes of Paris is to be magically teleported on a grand holiday through Parisian haute couture. And Stanley Donen's direction makes ‘Funny Face’ so much more than mere sumptuous entertainment. It is a wry musical comedy taking a deadly sly poke at the fashionista guru. This is a world created by human hands and ego, and, about as far removed from the one we find ourselves a part of at the beginning of our story. But that is precisely why Funny Face succeeds; because it parallels the mundane with the superficially sacred, and elevates the escapism to a most rarefied art form.
Musically, ‘Funny Face’ achieves many high water marks with Audrey singing in her own voice the poignant, `How Long Has This Been Going On.' Astaire taps the exuberant `Let's Kiss and Make Up.' Astaire and Audrey do an elegant pas deux to Gershwin's immortal, `S'Wonderful' and the entire cast gets into the act with `Bonjour Paris!' Arguably, the song which lingers the longest in our collective memory remains Kay Thompson's acidic and comical `Think Pink' - an ode to fashion for fashion's sake. As Thompson croons - "Red is dead. Blue is through. Green's obscene. Brown's to boo...and there is not the slightest excuse for plum or puce...or chartreuse."
Finally, ‘Funny Face’ is a lightweight and cheerful little musical immeasurably aided by Paramount's patented high fidelity widescreen process VistaVision, and the sumptuous backdrop of Paris at its most photogenic (despite reoccurring inclement weather throughout the shoot), ‘Funny Face’ emerges with a genuine sparkle and heart; an ultra-gorgeous musical with much to appreciate and admire throughout. `On how to be lovely', ‘Funny Face’ rates a perfect ten! So all in all, this was well worth the wait for Paramount to release this sumptuous Blu-ray release, but sadly this UK Release has no Extras, like on the USA Blu-ray Release, but despite this I am still proud to have this Hollywood Classic in my Blu-ray Collection. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
Andrew C. Miller - Your Ultimate No.1 Film Fan
Le Cinema Paradiso
WARE, United Kingdom
1.0 out of 5 stars Where Was MArni NIxon?,
Funny Face has just about everything going for it. Audrey Hepburn, Fred Astaire, Stanley Donen, great Gershwin tunes, a terrific rare glimpse of the incomparable Kay Thompson and above all some of the most exciting visuals and overall art direction ever caught on film. So what happened? The sad decision to let Hepburn do her own singing. That's not to say her voice is bad. It's very... nice. But for a full blown musical of this scale, the audience is yearning for Hepburn's character to really give out with a great set of pipes. Perhaps not quite to the extent of Kay Thompson, an actress perhaps better suited for the stage than the intimacy of the screen. Yet while the movie does not fulfill its promise, it's still well worth seeing. The transformation of Hepburn from mousy bookstore clerk to haute couture model is as wonderful as her similar transformation in "Sabrina". The modeling sessions with Astaire directing Hepburn are delightful and above all the VistaVision presentation of late 50s gloss can not be matched, (the opening credits nearly make up for the entire movie). With Richard Avedon and Suzy Parker's influence the movie almost makes you forgive its failings. Still by the last frame the audience is left with only one thought: "Where's Marni Nixon when you need her?".
4.0 out of 5 stars An interesting, not funny face.,
This review is from: Funny Face (VHS Tape)
Well, funny isn't how I'd describe Audrey Hepburn's face. Dazzling, luminescent, one-of-a-kind... but funny? I'm not laughing. I more side with Fred Astaire's character Dick Avery, who says "What you call funny, I call interesting."
Seriously though, how does a shy, introverted, intellectual bluestocking who is a firm believer in empathicalism became a fashion model for Quality magazine? Part of it has to do with photographer Dick Avery blowing up some snaps of her after an uninvited photo session in her Greenwich Village bookstore, and selling her to Maggie Prescott, editor of Quality. Another has to do with a photo shoot in Paris for the new layout of Quality, in exchange for which she'll get to meet Professor Flostre, the philosophical founder of empathicalism and her hero.
The best scenes in the movie are the photo shoots, which shows Jo doing poses in the rain, holding balloons, and tearfully standing at a departing railway station. But the standout has to be her running down the steps of the Louvre in a sleeveless red Givenchy gown, the statue of the Winged Victory behind her, emulating the famed statute. Another is Jo's dance in the nightclub, expressing herself after Avery pokes fun at her empathicalist beliefs. It's a spontaneous number set to a upbeat jazz rhythms, with Jo wearing a black body stocking, and it would be the last time Audrey would use her dancing talents in a movie.
The movie's attitude to the French beatnik and intellectual culture that began in the 1950's is clearly and unfortunately contemptuous, not surprising, considering that America in the 50's was in the growth-oriented prosperity, which had no room for intellectual thought. The concept of empathicalism, the philosophy of putting one in another person's shoes via emotion and manner of speech. That is kind of sabotaged by Avery, who speaks in a charming manner to two Frenchman while using insulting words.
The only sympathetic and likeable character here is Jo Stockton, played by Audrey, of course, but the motivations of her character selling out by working for a fashion magazine, which is so phony, materialistic, and shallow, is questionable. Still, Audrey is a breathe of fresh air, whatever she wears.
As for the characters played by Fred Astaire and nightclub performer Kay Thompson (Maggie), they're not exactly laudable. Fred Astaire's Avery is nice but shallow, and the chemistry between him and Audrey isn't credible. At least he could still dance. His character is based on famed fashion photographer Richard Avedon, as indeed is some of the story, where Avedon trained and married one of his models. As for Thompson, her brusque, bossy, brash, and downright aggressive attitude does not endear her well. Not content with having her crew make a mess of the Embryo Bookstore in the beginning, she then has the nerve to push her outside until the photo shoot is finished! Her character is a cariacature of either Diana Vreeland of Vogue or Carmel Snow of Harper's Bazaar.
The costumes by Givenchy are great, as are the musical numbers by Gershwin, especially the "He Loves and She Loves" and "S'wonderful" numbers, both of which feature Fred and Audrey dancing together. BTW, Astaire and his sister Adele had already danced to this in the Broadway show of the same name back in 1927. And this is the first of three movies with director Stanley Donen for Audrey, the others being Charade and Two For The Road. Donen of course made Fred Astaire dance on the ceiling in Royal Wedding years before Lionel Richie did for MTV.
So, "what's wrong with bringing out a girl who has character, spirit, and intelligence?" Well, nothing if she's allowed to stay true to her beliefs. Dated by today's standards, due to its endorsement of shallow materialistic values as opposed to something more genuine and intellectual, redeemed by Audrey and some of the songs.
5.0 out of 5 stars Nothing less than chic.,
I just saw this the other day, and forgot how wonderful it was! The wry commentary on the fashion industry (and the fashion models themselves), the use of locale (Paris), song (Gershwin), and color (Donen) is wonderful. The color is especially superb in the fashion photo shoot (which is brilliantly illustrated betwixt Astaire and Hepburn), and gives marvelous detail behind each camera set-up (with a scenario, a motivation, a series of props, and finally an end result beautifully shown in a trick montage of film separation and negative process). This has always been my favorite scene in the film (being a former photographer myself), and I was further surprised to learn years later that the Astaire character was modeled on real photographer Richard Avedon. Color is further exploited in other scenes: the red darkroom light used as sole illumination in the "Funny Face" dance, the soft-focus green grass in "He Loves and She Loves," and even the drab monotone of the NY bookstore where Hepburn sings "How Long Has This Been Going On?" But I must give special mention to Kay Thompson's magazine editor: smart, witty, hilarious, nearly stealing every scene she's in. (Astaire: "They've been in there for hours. Thompson: "There was a LOT to do.") One of the best things done by director Stanley Donen.
5.0 out of 5 stars "I love your funny face! Your sunny, funny face!",
In 1957, Paramount produced a very enjoyable musical comedy called "Funny Face", directed by Stanley Donen, and to the music of George Gershwin, Adolph Deutsch, Roger Edens and Leonard Gershe. With a simple plot, the film begins in New York City within the offices of the major fashion magazine named "Quality". Its president, Maggie Prescott (Kay Thompson), is determined to find a new way to promote the magazine. In a moment of inspiration, she comes up with the slogan "Think pink," and breaks into song praising the color pink and saying that everything (from women's clothing, soap, furniture, etc.) must be pink. Of course, she "wouldn't be caught dead" in it.
Moving on to another magazine project, Maggie wants to find the perfect spot to photograph one of the magazine's models named Marion (Dovima, who was a major fashion model in the 1950's working closely with photographer Richard Avedon. This was her only film.). An assistant suggests that they go to a bookstore in Greenwich Village to create an intellectual atmosphere. Maggie, Marion, a host of Maggie's staff all in pink and the magazines head photographer, Dick Avery (Fred Astaire), force their way into a dingy, but quiet, bookstore along with all of their equipment. A store employee, Jo Stockton (Audrey Hepburn) protests the uninvited intrusion vehemently, but the "Quality" magazine army locks her out of the store to work undisturbed. After several hours, the "Quality" mob vacates, but the books and store are left in a shambles for Jo to clean up. Dick offers his help to clean the store, but Jo refuses. After Dick leaves, Jo proceeds to sing another wonderful song in the film, "How Long Has This Been Going On?"
Maggie decides that "Quality" must find a real "Quality woman" to represent the magazine and it isn't Marion. When Dick develops the photos taken at the bookstore, Jo is in one of them. He suggests to Maggie that Jo could be the woman that they need, but Maggie has her doubts. To lure Jo to the "Quality" offices, they order a large number of books and want them delivered. Jo arrives hours later with a pile of books and is accosted by Maggie's staff who want to redress her in preparation for a photo shoot. Jo escapes and hides in Dick's dark room. They talk and he sings to her another of the film's title song, "Funny Face". Jo completely disagrees with everything that "Quality" magazine represents; she believes in "empathicalism", a philosophy that rejects all material things, as described by her idol, Professor Emile Flostre, who lives in Paris. When Jo is told that the "Quality woman" photo shoot and a fashion show will be done in Paris, she reluctantly agrees to be the model since it will give her the opportunity to meet Prof. Flostre.
The film continues in Paris where Jo models many clothes designed by Givenchy and a romance between her and Dick Avery develops. Jo finally gets the opportunity to meet Prof. Flostre (Michel Auclair), but will he meet Jo's expectations? Will the romance between Jo and Dick survive the photo shoot and meeting Prof. Flostre? Does Maggie get to produce the Paris fashion show of your dreams? You'll just have to watch this very entertaining film to find out!
The songs in the film include:
* "Think Pink" 5/5, Kay Thompson. A fast, snappy & whimsical song.
* "How Long Has This Been Going On?" 5/5, A blues song sung by Audrey Hepburn at the bookstore.
* "Funny Face" 5/5, Fred Astaire. A charming song.
* "Bonjour Paris" 5/5, Fred Astaire, Audrey Hepburn, Kay Thompson. A fun song filmed at various locations in Paris.
* "He Loves and She Loves" 4.5/5 Audrey Hepburn and Fred Astair. Filmed at Le Château de la Reine Blanche in Coye-la-Forêt with Audrey Hepburn modeling a wedding dress.
* "How To Be Lovely" 5/5, Kay Thompson and Audrey Hepburn. A fun & gutsy song.
* "Basal Metabolism" 4.5/5, A blues song that Audrey Hepburn dances to in a bistro.
* "Clap Yo' Hands" 5/5, A fun, melodramatic blues song sung by Fred Astaire and Kay Thompson to sneak into the bistro. (a.k.a. "Ring-a Them Bells")
* "Let's Kiss and Make Up" 4.5/5 Fred Astaire. A love song sung again at Le Château de la Reine Blanche.
* "'S Wonderful" 5/5, Audrey Hepburn and Fred Astaire. Another love song sung at Le Château de la Reine Blanche.
Some may think that "Funny Face" is nothing more than fluff, but it was produced to entertain with color, fashion, music, dance and comedy and it does so very well. The acting, singing and dancing from Audrey Hepburn, Fred Astaire and Kay Thompson is quite good and I rate "Funny Face" with 5 out of 5 stars. If you're primarily interested in Oscar-winning dramas, "Funny Face" may disappoint you; but if you enjoy light-hearted musicals and like to laugh, then you'll probably be very entertained with this fun film!
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully colourful movie,
Audrey Hepburn rarely looked lovelier than in this gorgeous musical comedy, inspired loosely by the career of photographer Richard Avedon. One of the most beautifully photographed colour films ever (and oddly enough not directed by Vincente Minnelli), this Stanley Donen charmer stars Fred Astaire as a magazine photographer (a la Avedon) who discovers a waifish Greenwich village bookseller (Hepburn) and turns her into a supermodel. He carts her all over the world as the new face of fashion, though for her the excitement is simply in having the chance to travel and visit philosophers she has long admired. Pretty soon her lofty ideals clash meanly with the low mental expectations and hard-working ethics of the modeling industry, but thankfully her managing editor (a delicious Kay Thompson) is there to keep her in line. The story isn't too much admire, not to mention that the romance between a twenty-something Hepburn and a three hundred year-old Astaire is just a bit rich even by Hollywood's standards, but anyone watching will be too enchanted by the visuals and the lovely music to mind very much. Songs include a whole spate of musical classics, including "'S Wonderful", "How Long Has This Been Going On" and "Bonjour Paris", highlighted by an excellent dance number that Hepburn performs in a Parisian beatnik bar.
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Greatest Movie Musicals...Ever,
This review is from: Funny Face (VHS Tape)
Whenever I think of Paris, I want to see Funny Face again.
Being in Paris is like being in an Audrey Hepburn movie, and nothing makes you feel like this more than the delightful "Bonjour Paris" number done when Astaire, Hepburn and the extraordinary Kaye Thompson (Liza Minnelli's godmother, BTW, who steals the picture) arrive in the City of Lights. This is the ultimate Paris moment.
Using the score from Gershwin's stage version of Funny Face and a new script by Leonard Gershe, under the sure hand of Stanley Donen, everything is beautiful. Thompson plays a character based on Diana Vreeland, the head of Vogue, who, under the advice of the photographer played by Astaire (and based on Richard Avedon) takes a young intellectual wallflower from Greenwich Village and passes
her off as "the Quality Woman." The entire thing is enchanting, and after 46 years, Funny Face still holds up beautifully. The highlights include the opening "Think Pink"
number; Astaire's bullfight dance during "Let's Kiss and Make Up," "Clap Yo' Hands," done as only Astaire and Thompson could, and one of the most gorgeous, lasting images of the great Audrey Hepburn: dressed beautifully by Givenchy in red, she walks down the grand staircase at the Louvre, a flowing sheer red shawl held aloft. She has never looked so beautiful, and we are so lucky to have had her in our lives.
Funny Face is a musical treasure to be seen again, and again and again!
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Funny Face (Bilingual) [Import] by Stanley Donen (DVD - 2011)
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