"The book is a film that takes place in the mind of the reader." ~ Paulo Coelho

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Movie Review: Funny Face (1957)

Greetings, readers!

This is my last movie review for 2020. Itʼs so hard for me to believe! Even though parts of 2020 have crept along at a snailʼs pace, it seems like I just started with La Belle et La Bête (1946) a week ago. Iʼm ending with a musical that I hadnʼt see before, and in fact enjoyed quite a bit. Sit back, and enjoy my review!

My guarantee: On ALL of my reviews there are NO spoilers unless I give you warning. This is spoiler free!

Funny Face (1957):
The magazine Quality is the height of fashion. For a photo shoot, the company randomly chooses a bookstore and causes some havoc much to the distress of the young shop attendant, Jo Stockton. The photographer, Dick Avery, stays behind to help clean up and is surprised by this girl and her talks of philosephy, especially empathy. Later he convinces Maggie Prescott-, the head of the magazine, that this girl would be great for their new model. The only way that Dick can convince her is that in Paris she could meet famous philosephers. Once they get to France, feelings start breaking out, and in the sweep of the moment they canʼt find Jo. Will she be where they want her to be at the right time?
“Every girl on every page of Quality has grace, elegance, and pizazz. Now, what's wrong with bringing out a girl who has character, spirit, and intelligence?”
Musical, Romance.
Length: approx. 103 minutes.
Script: 10, no bad words at all.
“Anything you donʼt understand you call ʻsmall talkʼ.”
Crew: Directed by: Stanley Donen. Written by: Leonard Gershe.
Audrey Hepburn as Jo Stockton. “I have no illusions about my face, I think itʼs funny.” 
Fred Astaire as Dick Avery.

Kay Thompson as Maggie Prescott.
Michel Auclair as Prof. Emile Flostre.
Dovima as Marion.
Robert Flemyng as Paul Duval.
Jean Del Val as Hairdresser.
Virginia Gibson as Babs.
Sue England as Laura.
Ruta Lee as Lettie.
Alex Gerry as Dovitch.
Iphigenie Castiglioni as Armande.
9, this movie is all about a fashion magazine, so there are lots of costumes. There arenʼt any that I dislike. There is quite a lot of pink, and I was scandelized by comments like, “Burn the blue!”, but they all are fun.
Costumes designed by: Edith Head.
9, Iʼm conflicted on this. If there was a word that I would use to describe it, that word is “unique”. Iʼve never seen cinematography like this. There are so many colors and changes! My favorite scene was one in a “dark room” for developing photos. The red lighting the whole time was perfect. Another time in a “café” in Paris you could tell that it was many takes stitched together as the cinematography changed every time the angle was shifted. Overall, I enjoyed the creative take for our viewing pleasure.
“Trees have beauty, why donʼt you photograph trees?”
Cinematography by:
Ray June.
Music: 8, my favorite songs were “Bonjour, Paris”, and “Funny Face”!
Music by: Ida and George Gershwin.
I caught a reference to another Audrey Hepburn movie, Roman Holiday (1953). WARNING: In this movie there are spoilers for the book Anna Karenina - by Leo Tolstoy. It is one of my favorite books, so I advise not seeing this until youʼve read it, or if you already know the plot.
Quotability: N/A, as I just watched it so recently. I do have the feeling that Iʼll be quoting this line at least, sometime in the future:
“Iʼm so tired, itʼs an effort for me to say Iʼm so tired.”
Content: 8, there is smoking and mild kissing. A character gets into an uncomfortable situation for a second, but everything is fine.
Originality: 7, does this follow the typical “romance” structure? Yes, but the setting is still fun.
Good For:
Fans of the actors, musical lovers.
Age Range: This is a movie that would be fine for any age. There is nothing too scary for a little kid. There are some scenes in a “café” which is more like a saloon which has a smoky atmosphere, but thatʼs all that I can think of that would bother a kid.
Overall Score: 8.5.
Worth watching?: Oui, oui! It was cute and I had fun. I really liked the message on having empathy for other people.
Will I watch again?:
Oui, again. My older sister only caught the last half, so Iʼll try to watch the beginning with her again. Then again, my dad only saw the first half and was bored, so if heʼs interested Iʼll watch the second half with him.
“This is my second and last encounter with you lunatics.”

For the blogathon:
I know that itʼs crazy that this is my fourth review of a Fred Astaire movie this year. Iʼve done: Royal Wedding (1951), Silk Stockings (1957), and Holiday Inn (1942). Itʼs not just that Iʼm on a kick, most have been for blogathons, and this one is continuing the tradition.

 This is my entry in Michaela of Love Letters to Old Hollywoodʼs The Third Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers Blogathon. It is hosted with best wishes for the other intended co- host, Crystal Kalyana, as she has been through some scary health problems and is currently in the ICU in a coma. Her family would appreciate it if you kept her in your thoughts and prayers.

Surprisingly, I have contributed to this blog party each year. The first time was a review of Fredʼs Letʼs Dance (1950), and last year I talked about Gingerʼs Monkey Business (1952), so it was Fredʼs turn again. Iʼve owned this movie for a long time but never watched it, so I wrangled my sister into enjoying it with me.

It could be said to be like the movie An American in Paris (1951), but I might just be thinking that because it features Americans in Paris and has one of the same songs. Note, while it is called Funny Face, it has a different story from the 1927 musical that also starred Fred Astaire.

If I really think about it I could make some connections between this movie and the one that I didnʼt like from this same year, Silk Stockings (1957). Because they are similar, do I not like this one? No. Why not? Well, Iʼm a little confused by that myself. It could depend on my mood. I watched this movie over two (accidentally spread apart) days, and on the first day I wrote down that I was “snorting” (I know, not a ladylike thing to do) so many times in the first 10 minutes by how ridiculous it was. On the second day, there were places that if I had been in the same mood I wouldʼve kept up the same mocking stance towards it. But I wasnʼt. I thoroughly enjoyed it the whole second time. Thinking about it, there were somethings that I normally would be insulted by, but it didnʼt matter to me.

“MC,” youʼre asking, “Why? Why do you like this better than Silk Stockings (1957)?”

Was it because I like Audrey Hepburn better than Cyd Charisse? I donʼt think that was too big a factor, but I could be mistaken. No, I think that Silk Stockings (1957) takes itself too seriously. Funny Face (1957) is just carefree. It is relaxed (or “chill” as I like to say), so I didnʼt mind anything that I would otherwise not cared for. For example, in the song “On How to be Lovely”, I would usually be groaning, but Kay Thompson and Audrey Hepburn seemed to be having so much fun, that I couldnʼt help smiling. Watching this movie was almost like going on a picnic; an enjoyable way to spend a day, leaving you with memories of laughter.

Itʼs not the most impressive role that Iʼm seen Fred in, but I liked it all the same. I canʼt think of anything bad to say about this movie, as Iʼm just so contented, that youʼll have to look somewhere else for a negative review. In the meantime, Iʼll be swaying along in time to the music to express myself.

Thanks to Michaela for continuing to host this! Check out all of the other entries HERE.

How are all of you doing? Are you tired of my Fred Astaire reviews? Does your mood affect your opinions when watching movies? Thanks for reading! For my next review, look in January 2021!



  1. Perhaps it was whatever director Stanley Donen brought to the picture that made Funny Face more enjoyable for you. It was his second of two movies with Fred, and the first of three with Audrey.

    1. That is likely! After all, Stanley Donen did direct my favorite movie of all time, Singin' in the Rain, so maybe I'm just drawn to his style. Thanks for the comment!

  2. This looks like a fun movie! I'll have to see it sometime, especially since I love Audrey Hepburn.
    *gasps* Burn the blue? But why? It's such a pretty color.

    1. Audrey Hepburn is marvelous in everything that I've seen! That was my thought exactly during that song! Later on there is an outfit with lots of blue, so that made me happy. If you get the chance then I hope you like it!

  3. This is one of my favorite pick-me-up movies. It's just so light and funny and beautiful. I'm glad you mentioned the cinematography -- it definitely doesn't look like any other movie! I think it's because photographer Richard Avedon, who was the inspiration for Fred's character, was a consultant.

    Thanks for bringing this s'wonderful film to the blogathon!

    1. It is ideal for that! I can well see it becoming one of those kinds of films for me, too. Huh, I didn't know that about Richard Avedon! Thanks for telling me. I'm off to do some more research!

      You're welcome! Thank you for hosting the s'marvelous blogathon!

  4. Good review, MovieCritic! I also wrote about 'Funny Face' last year, so I'll provide a link to the article in this comment. When it came to reviewing films in 2020, I was in a similar situation as you. However, I ended up watching five of Frank Sinatra's movies: 'Marriage on the Rocks', 'High Society', 'Ocean's Eleven', 'Anchors Aweigh', and 'Take Me Out to the Ball Game'.


    1. Thanks, Sally! Actually, when deciding what to write about I remembered that you had written a review of Funny Face so I scanned it quickly and decided that it sounded ideal! I'll go leave a longer comment there in a minute. Those all sound like fun films! I love the part of Ocean's Eleven that I've seen and I really want to see High Society because I adore the original movie, The Philadelphia Story. Frank Sinatra is an actor whose filmography I want to explore more.

  5. This movie is so much fun! Gershwin, Donen, Hepburn, Astaire and Thompson are an amazing mix. It's especially cool seeing Hepburn getting to dance and having a ball.

    1. I had a thoroughly delightful time with this film! Agreed, it was a great performance from the cast and crew. Yeah, you hardly ever saw that from her, but it's a treat!


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