I now blog over at The Eyre Guide! This blog is an archive of my past posts.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Movie Musical Challenge: My Fair Lady

Posted by Charlene // Tags: , ,
In Movie Musical Challenge, I'm watching all 25 picks for AFI's greatest musicals starting from the bottom.  Number 8 is the 1964 adaptation of My Fair Lady starring Audrey Hepburn and Rex Harrison.

I have ...often walked down this street before... just kidding.  I have seen this film before, but I didn't think I really knew it all that well, so it surprised me to discover how much I knew the songs even if I didn't quite remember all the scenes.  Watching this again, I realize how much fun the songs are, even with Rex Harrison's talk-singing.  This is a great musical, which begins in a rather whimsical sort of way, but by the end, the personalities of Eliza and Professor Higgins are so strongly created, that the emotion of their character journeys is very striking.  I think that is why this musical is so well regarded now.

Eliza, as played by Audrey Hepburn, is such a luminous creature.  Her personality is overwhelming in the beginning with her strident voice and accent, but Audrey transforms the character beautifully, and of course the actress herself is the embodiment of refinement and elegance.  She makes Eliza perfectly sympathetic and believable.  And I have to love curmudgeonly Professor Higgins.  He's so awful in the way he treats people, but he is always honest, and that makes his character fun.  Especially when he reacts in ways that are unexpected.  I know that when I first watched this film, I wanted more of a romantic ending with the characters, but watching it now, I can see just how perfect it is that neither of them gives in too much, and they seem ready to settle into their strangely understanding relationship.  It doesn't need romance because they seem happy to have each other.

While watching this, I was reminded too that I have a thing for Jeremy Brett - I forgot he was in this film!  I've seen him in an old production of the light opera The Merry Widow and loved that - he's so dashing and handsome.  He's a bit of a milksop in this film, but still dashing and handsome.  I enjoyed his scenes immensely.

Favorite scene for me would have to be "I Could Have Danced All Night."  Eliza's joy is catching, and the song is pretty catchy as well.  I do love seeing pure joy in musicals - for some reason that emotion seems more resonant when expressed in a musical, so this was the scene that stood out for me.

Overall, this is another delightful film.  I was surprised to find that it was almost three hours because it went by pretty fast.  I am glad I watched it for this challenge, since I fell in love with the characters and music all over again.

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