Breakfast At Tiffanys Genre Analysis Essay

To admit that Breakfast at Tiffany's is one of your favourite films, these days, is to out yourself as the emotional and intellectual equivalent of a cupcake. The iconography of Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly has become as neatly packaged and commodified as a duck-egg blue Tiffany's box – a world away from Capote's booze-and-nicotine-fuelled 1958 original. A revisionist feminist take on Breakfast at Tiffany's would be as unconvincing and ill-advised as Mickey Rooney playing the Japanese Mr Yunioshi – there's no getting away from the fact (although Hollywood tried) that Holly takes money "for the powder room", and that she is in many ways the creation of a series of Svengali-like men.

And yet, how many cinematic heroines can you think of who are truly free-spirited – however wounded and vulnerable – rebels? Fellow southern belle Scarlett O'Hara had similar grit and would surely have taken New York by storm had she been born in a later age, and decades later Thelma and Louise launched themselves into a hopeless future with the same reckless abandon, but in between there are few such dazzling female characters as Holly. And for the most part, in the film at least, she gives the rats and super-rats a good run for their money.

From the

opening credits to the lingering final shot, the film is all about Holly – or, more precisely, Audrey. For once the love interest is a man, and he isn't even that interesting. Despite this being his only memorable role (the, ahem, A-Team notwithstanding), George Peppard is as smooth and bland as a bar of soap: the cat has more personality. The other characters (like the addition of 2E, played by Patricia Neal, to make everyone feel a little more comfortable with Holly's means of making a living) are mere foils or props for the heroine. But this, like so much else (apart, of course, from the ending) is faithful to Capote's original: the unnamed writer narrator, remember, has no story of his own to tell until he meets Holly.

The film is the sparkling champagne to the novella's dirty martini (which led Mailer to crown Capote "the most perfect writer of my generation"), and each have their distinct pleasures. Where the mean reds smoulder dangerously at the edges of the pages, like Capote's endless cigarettes, the film is drenched in sunshine (we know it's not far away even in the final downpour). Although there are dark moments: anyone who can keep a dry eye as Paul regretfully closes the door on a desperately grieving Holly has a heart of "cold macaroni".

H

olly's determination to put a brave face (full make-up, darling, even in bed) on things makes her an old-fashioned heroine. Give a girl lemons and she'll make a martini. As her name card says, she goes lightly: who hasn't dreamed of just putting "Travelling" in their out-of-office message? In the opening scene, from our first glimpse of her through the doorway in eye-mask, tasselled earplugs and man's dinner shirt, to the alligator shoes and trademark sunglasses of the final transformation for her trip to Sing Sing, Holly is all about dressing up. Holly/Audrey has become synonymous with the little black dress, but what the LBD stands for is wearing something that means, no matter what you're feeling inside, you can face the world with confidence.

But it isn't just that dress. New York – which undoubtedly looks great – is a catwalk for Holly/Audrey's much-imitated wardrobe. The orange coat and bucket hat combo she wears on her day out with Paul; the Burberry-style mac to see Doc off at the bus station; and never has a woman made a turtle-neck look so effortlessly desirable. Holly is the ultimate material girl; like Madonna constantly reinventing herself. As OJ Berman says, in just one of the exchanges lifted straight out of the book (sadly, I can quote a lot of them): "She is a phony. But… she isn't a phony because she's a real phony." It is this real phoniness – as well as Holly's warmheartedness — that the film captures so well.

Capote was very specific as to Holly's sartorial tastes. "She was never without dark glasses, she was always well groomed, there was a consequential good taste in the plainness of her clothes, the blues and greys and lack of lustre that made her, herself, shine so." Hepburn, in other words, who shines as if lit from within: the only thing on which director Blake Edwards strayed was the leading lady's hair colour. Famously, Capote wanted Marilyn Monroe for the role – thank goodness she turned it down. Breakfast at Tiffany's with cleavage would be an altogether different film. Legendarily beautiful and sophisticated, Hepburn might at times be a clothes horse, but she's never a sex object and this is not a story about sex. (That's just how Holly – and Paul – pay the bills.)

Sometimes characterised as a "female Gatsby", Holly, to me is rather closer to Nancy Mitford's Linda Radlett from The Pursuit of Love: two fatally "lop-sided romantics", who guard their freedom as fiercely as they give their heart away easily. (And, most importantly, neither is ever a bore.) In the harsh black-and-white world between book covers, they pay the price for their dreams of finding both love and independence.

And so to the Hollywood ending. But close readers of the novella need not be outraged: the director only took the liberty of making the narrator's final vision – of the cat, and Holly, finally at home – a reality. The novella is all about escape and the film is escapism at its best. When my own world starts taking on an a mean tint, playing it can be as reassuring as a trip to Tiffany's. And no – I don't watch it eating a box of chocolates and painting my nails. But I might cry – a little.

Adaptation Analysis Of The Film And The Novella Breakfast At Tiffany's

Maciel Course Project: Adaptation Analysis "Breakfast at Tiffany's" 9

Breakfast at Tiffany's

By Truman Capote

Film Adaptation:

Produced by Jurow-Shepherd

Directed by Blake Edwards

Screenplay by George Axelrod

I begin by describing my adoration for the film adaptation of Breakfast at Tiffany's. I have loved this film for many years since watching it when I was a younger woman in my 20's. I considered it iconic. Iconic for the representation of beauty in Audrey Hepburn, the lifestyle of the New York high society social scene, the high fashion of the early 1960's and the way the different characters are portrayed as almost caricatures although we can all relate to similar people we've met in our own lives. The film is set in 1960 and watching it is like a snapshot in time.

The film is a loose adaptation of the novella by Truman Capote. There are many differences in the film from the written work and it can be argued that it is actually a close adaptation since there is an abundance of dialogue that seems to be taken directly from the text of the story.

The film is about a young writer named Paul who moves into a brownstone apartment in New York City in 1960 and develops an unusual friendship with a neighbor named Holly Golitely. She lives an unorthodox lifestyle where she does not work but makes money by keeping company with rich men who give her money and gifts. She is candid about this and in fact enjoys the shock value of sharing her views and her antics with Paul. Holly has a nameless cat and a barely furnished apartment, a reflection of her constant state of keeping disconnected and unattached. She refers to Paul as Fred who is her beloved brother. Holly is very aloof and detached although her goal is to marry one of these rich men and has no qualms about revealing that goal to Paul. He is intrigued by the way she portrays herself as aloof but he can see she is a vulnerable and frightened girl. The interesting thing about their connection is that she sees him as someone safe and a confidant so their relationship evolves and progresses even though she does not see Paul as a marriage option.

The genre of the film can be considered a romantic comedy since there are many enjoyable, comedic scenes in which their relationship unfolds. All along, Paul becomes almost the caretaker for Holly whenever she gets in a bind or is in an emotional low (the mean reds). Paul sees this as a natural progression of a relationship, how intimacy grows. Holly just sees him as a dear friend, so she says. Holly has her own rules...

Loading: Checking Spelling

0%

Read more

Film: The Breakfast Club Essay

1264 words - 5 pages The movie The Breakfast Club was released in 1985, and is based on a group of five high school students from stereotypical cliques; the popular, jock, nerd and the outcasts, who all wind up stuck together for Saturday detention. Throughout the movie many themes present themselves such as teenage rebellion, peer pressure and family issues as the students get to know each other. The most prominent theme throughout the movie is the student’s...

Psychology Analysis of the Breakfast Club

1229 words - 5 pages Oh what can you really learn in Saturday detention. The Breakfast Club...

Review of the Film Adaptation of The Butcher Boy

1835 words - 7 pages Review of the Film Adaptation of The Butcher Boy ‘The butcher boy’ was made into a film adaptation in 1997 by Neill Jordan and author of the original book Patrick McCabe. The Novel was highly praised and controversial. Many saw it as the best account of Irish childhood. Its time frame is reminiscent of the early 1960's. It is about a young boy called Francie Brady who becomes isolated from reality and...

The Discrepancies in the Film Adaptation of Exodus

1220 words - 5 pages The Discrepancies in the Film Adaptation The book of Exodus is a detailed account of the story of the freedom of the Israelite people from their time of slavery in Egypt. At times the verses may be confusing and it might be hard to grasp points. We will discuss below how The Prince of Egypt was able to portray the main storyline, and look at some points in the movie where there where some incorrect themes or details were shown. At the beginning...

Analysis of the Use of Film Trailers and Film Posters

1803 words - 7 pages Analysis of the Use of Film Trailers and Film Posters Film posters come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes and colours. Some have appealing pictures on that target a particular age group, some are for a general audience, but they all use the same things on the poster. Anchorage, Alliteration and Eye catching devices. You can find them at a wide range of places, like at the cinema inside and out, or on big billboards, or...

Film Analysis of Anna And The King

2289 words - 9 pages Film Analysis of Anna And The King When we want to analyze a film, we must know what films represent. Film is the term we use to describe a particular material and medium of communication that has certain specific properties governed by certain physical laws…use to produce particular communicative texts that formulate particular fields of symbolic meaning and effects, and meet particular sets of criteria that give...

Personality Analysis on 'The Breakfast Club'

1409 words - 6 pages Released in 1985 and directed by John Hughes ' The Breakfast Club' is a film about teenagers that seem different on the surface but come to discover otherwise . When five students from different high school cliques are forced to spend their Saturday in detention, the brain, athlete, basket case, princess and the criminal together are faced with the question of...

Gold in the Yukon and Naturalism: Jack London’s Novella "The Call of the Wild"

1354 words - 5 pages Imagine this: Gold was just discovered in the Yukon Territory of Canada, and many gold miners rush to the North to see if they can strike rich. However, in order to do so, they need big, strong dogs with warm coats to protect them from the biting cold. As a result, a dog from the sunny state of California is dog napped and taken to be sold to anyone who is willing to buy him. When the dog is sold, he is shipped to the cold North. As he gets out...

A Comparison of Shakespeare's Macbeth and Rupert Goold's Film Adaptation

934 words - 4 pages William Shakespeare’s masterpiece, Macbeth, is a tragedy brilliantly brought to the 21st Century by Rupert Goold. Although Shakespeare’s Macbeth is a play set in 16th Century Scotland, Rupert Goold modernizes the play by changing the setting to a Soviet-styled country and implementing modern elements into the characters and theme. Although Shakespeare’s Macbeth and Rupert Goold’s film adaptation share many ideologies and a general storyline, a...

Film Adaptation of William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet

1361 words - 5 pages Film Adaptation of William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet 'Romeo & Juliet', was written by poet and playwright, William Shakespeare. The romantic play, 'Romeo & Juliet' involves many recognisable emotions and themes including passion, love, hate, agony, and sadness. This essay will examine how Baz Luhrmann reproduces Shakespeare's classic love story into a contemporary modern world so audiences today can access...

Baz Luhrmann's Film Adaptation of Romeo and Juliet

1621 words - 6 pages Baz Luhrmann's Film Adaptation of Romeo and Juliet Shakespeare's use of language reflects the theatre of his day. There were no elaborate set designs, costumes, lighting or sound effects and there were also only a small number of actors playing many different parts. This could get confusing and therefore the language and imagery had to do all the work for the audience, as the words were the only tools available to help...

0 thoughts on “Breakfast At Tiffanys Genre Analysis Essay”

    -->

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *