Sunday, February 27, 2011

Battle of The Oscar Stars: Best Picture 1964

It is hard to admit defeat, but sometimes it has to be done. Best Picture winners you beat me, and apparently you are still winners. (To rub it in, I'm not kidding when I say that, "The Winner Takes It All" just started playing on my computer. ABBA, you bitch.)

Even with being deeply determined to accomplish this goal, it just couldn't be done.That goal being: to watch all of the past Best Picture winners by today,  the day of The Academy Awards. It was sort of unrealistic, especially judging by the fact that I have barely gotten through half of the winners. We'll get 'em next year!

Fittingly, I was at least able to squeeze in one last classy, extravaganza before today, that I honestly believe had never graced my eyes before (which is ridiculous). Completely worthy of its eight Oscars, My Fair Lady will put anyone in the mood to honor the cinema greats.

Truly a travesty; with my adoration for Audrey Hepburn and musicals, why did it take until my 20's to see this? Your guess is as good as mine. If anyone else has missed out on My Fair Lady, please don't wait as long as I did and check it out now.

From the whimsical opening sequence filled with elegant and bright flowers, all the way through to the end, My Fair Lady stands the test of time, and really displays to the current culture how a movie musical should be done. It truly sucks you into the world of Eliza Doolittle for three hours, where every song sticks in your brain and each scene is memorable.

(Hats! Hats! Must find a really important way to wear a giant fancy hat as soon as possible.)

No details were over looked, and the extraordinary costumes and decadent sets further enhance the extravagant fashion of the British hierarchy. Trying to think of a more perfectly dressed scene, than Eliza's first excursion as a "real" lady at a horse race, can't be done.

Being an Audrey Hepburn movie and all, each scene is filled with enviable looks and gowns, but the shear scale of this production number just left me in awe.

Where the costuming and sets are flawless, a fact that always shadows this film, and many movie musicals of this decade, is the voice behind the music. When covering West Side Story, I took an in-depth look at the fascinating life of Marni Nixon and her dubbing of Natalie Wood's singing voice.

Nixon was famously at it again, dubbing Hepburn for My Fair Lady, but for some reason it doesn't bother me as much as it does in West Side Story. Maybe it's because Hepburn's own voice can be heard in segments of a couple songs, and during the parts that it is obvious Nixon's voice is shining through, Hepburn just commits to her performance so well, it's really hard to even care.

Being swept away into a world is, to me, what defines quality films that will be loved for a lifetime. My Fair Lady does that  and will continue to inspire people to admire musicals and adore the art of movies.

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