Sabtu, 30 Juni 2012

LOVED this book!!!

Receive Me Falling Erika Robuck

Receive Me Falling Erika Robuck

This wonderful romantic comedy featuring Audrey Hepburn and George Peppard and adapted from a novella by Truman Capote is as complex as it is touching. As we meet Holly Golightly (Hepburn), she appears to be a quirky girl of modest means who yearns to lives the jet set lifestyle. She window shops at Tiffany's and throws wild parties in her apartment. Her chief source of income comes from weekly visits to a Mafia don in prison, relaying "weather reports" to his lawyer on the outside. She seems to be the picture of superficiality, described by O.J. Berman (Martin Balsam) as a "real phony", a person who is not what she appears to be, but is convinced she is.

Paul Varjak is an apathetic writer with one book and no ideas. He moves in upstairs from Holly and they immediately strike up a fire escape friendship. His only source of income comes from being a gigolo to his wealthy interior decorator (Patricia Neal) who pays him handsomely for his services every chance she gets. Paul and Holly seem to be two of a kind, abject losers pretending to be what they are not.

However, as the story unfolds, the layers are peeled away and the motivation for Holly's go-lightly personality is revealed in her difficult past. She is far more complex and deep than we first believe, using her lifestyle as a defense mechanism, a way of running from herself. The friendship and love that grow between Paul and Holly make better people of each and ultimately help them to transcend their personal flaws, but not without great difficulties.

For director Blake Edwards, who became most renowned for a spate of Pink Panther movies, this film was probably among his finest moments. These were complicated characters and he revealed them slowly with nuance. They were also developing as people and his treatment of this effect was both subtle and powerful.

The film was not without controversy. Truman Capote was adamant about having Marilyn Monroe in the lead, but the studio went with Audrey Hepburn, who was far less popular but who was probably better for the complexities of the character. They had selected a very young John Frankenheimer as director, who at that point had only TV credits on his resume. Hepburn refused to work with him and he was dumped in favor of Edwards. Capote wanted the film to remain true to the book's dark and depressing ending, but the studio chose to play to the masses and end it on an upbeat. Personally, I'm glad they did.

The film has been roundly criticized in the present day for the character portrayed by Mickey Rooney. Rooney played a caricature of a bumbling Japanese neighbor that was extremely unflattering to Asians although admittedly it was hilarious. This is considered a shocking portrayal in today's politically correct society, but it stirred little furor at the time, when everyone was far more insensitive and far less oversensitive. When the film was released, the biggest criticism was that Edwards overused the character to the point of making him nauseating, which was an obvious error in judgment. If Rooney only had one or two scenes rather than roughly a dozen, it probably wouldn't have become such a lightening rod.

Hepburn and Peppard were both terrific in the leads. Hepburn, who was nominated for best actress for the role, gave Holly a lovable quirkiness that belied her deeper troubles. When it was time to broaden the character, Hepburn gave her intricacy and depth that I feel Marilyn Monroe never could have accomplished. Peppard was more than just a dashing and handsome foil for Hepburn. He played Paul with sensitivity and refinement and had incredible chemistry with Hepburn, making the romance very natural and believable.

One of the best things about the film was the soundtrack, which brought the film its only two Oscars from five nominations. Henry Mancini's musical score was marvelous and film's theme song, "Moon River" written by Henry Mancini and Johnny Mercer is an enduring classic.

The DVD version brings new life to the original Technicolor photography and brings fullness to Mancini's fabulous soundtrack.

This richly textured film has both depth and range. It has just the right balance of lightness and heaviness, with well-explored characters that change before our eyes. I rated it a 10/10. It is an intelligent and affecting film that is worth seeing.

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8 komentar:

  1. Madeleine Webster29 November 2010 06.32

    I picked up this book at the author's booth at a street fair in Annapolis, MD and expected that it would be a mediocre book. I was very pleasantly surprised at the good writing and compelling story delivered by this book. I can't wait for Robuck's next novel. The part of the novel that takes place in Nevis demonstrates a deep knowledge of the island and its history. Loved the book!

    BalasHapus
  2. I met the author at a book signing that I did not know was taking place at a bookstore on Topsail Island, NC. I decided to try the book and am so glad that I did. I loved the richness of the characters and the two stories being told simultaneously. In addition, the intricate mix of the dual stories with the history of Nevis and life in the 1830's was well-done. The author had obviously done her homework. The surprises of the appearance of Hamilton and Leah's fate just added to the delightful reading of the book. And I really want to visit Nevis!!! I am glad that she has started on her second book. I eagerly look forward to it!

    BalasHapus
  3. I am anxiously awaiting the sequel to Receive Me Falling. The details, characters and history in this book weave a truly captivating story. The female characters are insightful and intelligent. Their adventures and spirit are somehting to be admired by all. Well done, Erika Shephard Robuck, I can't wait for more!

    BalasHapus
  4. I am usually a slow reader but once I picked up this book I couldn't put it down; I read it in a couple days!! It was very well written, it felt like I was right there with the characters. The chapters alternate being prior day and present day, and everything was tied in together. I am looking forward to the author's next book!

    BalasHapus
  5. I loved Receive Me Falling and I read it in about a day and a half. It made you feel like you were living on the plantation as Catherine did on Nevis. It was nice to hear familiar locations in Maryland with Meg's part of the story as well. I'm a fan of historical fiction so this was my kind of book anyway, but not everyone can combine the present and past making it flow smoothly. I enjoyed reading Receive Me Falling and recommend it to all fiction and historical fiction lovers!

    BalasHapus
  6. Russell Winters20 Desember 2012 07.32

    Truth always seems to show up at the worst possible time. "Receive Me Falling" is the story of Meghan, a woman who faces inheritance of her father's land, only to find it was acquired by not so honest means and herself in serious legal trouble, as well as paranormal trouble as the history of her father's estate appears to hassle her. Telling both the story of Meghan and the tragedy of her ghosts, "Receive me Falling" is an intriguing blend of historical fiction and the secrets of one's family coming out.

    BalasHapus
  7. I had just come home from the hospital with my 3rd child when I picked up this book. I was not sure how much I would like it, being historical fiction, so I figured I would muddle through in my sleep deprived state. Boy was I wrong!!! I could not wait for quiet moments every day to nurse the baby and sit down to read. I would even take a flashlight in with me at 2am so I could read more of the book. It is just fabulous and I CANNOT wait for Ms. Robuck to write the sequel...and more books in general!

    BalasHapus