At the Movies

It feels as if spring might actually be on the way. And with the hope of warmer weather comes the urge to get out and go –  somewhere, almost anywhere. I’m dying to take a trip, envious each time I read about a blogger coming or going from Paris, Provence or Prague – couldn’t resist the alliteration, but would actually be happy to go to a non-P destination as well! Even a day’s drive in the country with perhaps a leisurely lunch seems appealing at this point. And while considering that revery, I realized the perfect movie for today.

Stanley Donan’s 1967 Two for the Road chronicles the up and down 12 year marriage of Mark and Joanna Wallace (Albert Finney and Audrey Hepburn). Unlike the director’s more famous Singing in the Rain and Funny face, this lesser known film is told through a series of flashbacks, involving many drives in the country and trips from London to the Riviera. We experience their original courtship – Finney actually “settling” for Hepburn after his first choice Jacqueline Bisset is stricken with chicken pox – marriage, infidelity and parenthood. And along the way, we get to enjoy it all in fabulous 60s style. Check out Audrey’s stunning Paco Rabanne dress.

The stream of consciousness structure is a nod to the nouvelle vague films of the era and gives this film a voyeuristic peek into the world of this couple. We get a sense of their lives by piecing together a collage from different eras. Don’t expect a plot driven film  – this is more a meandering reflection of the course of a marriage, a visual rendering of the enduring yet sometimes difficult qualities of a long relationship.

We observe their marriage specifically through their trips to the south of France over the years. Finney’s success as an architect is expressed through Hepburn’s increasingly chic wardrobe of Puccis, Courrèges and Mary Quant and his increasingly expensive cars. And yet perhaps predicatably, there is an inverse happiness factor with this success. In addition to the fabulous styling is yet again a fantastic Henry Mancini soundtrack.

Take a look at this somewhat off the beaten track Hepburn movie with one of my favorite bad (or maybe just naughty) boys of film, Finney. It’s a fun way to welcome spring with a drive in the country. Here’s the (unfortunately rather mediocre) trailer.

36 thoughts on “At the Movies

  1. One of my favorite movies ever. It breaks and warms my heart, every time.
    And I’m with you, any excuse for hitting the road right now — I’m ready for picnic lunches, walks on the beach and getting lost while going no where. Now only if the weather would catch up! Have a wonderful weekend!

  2. This is a favourite movie of mine, I have not seen it for ages, I may have to buy the DVD.
    Wishing you a wonderful weekend.

  3. I LOVE this movie and especially because it has no plot but ‘meandering reflection’ and ‘visual rendering’ – brilliant! And, such style. I adore Finney, too. ; )

  4. You made it so fresh … Stanley Donen movies tell stories beyond the actual movie. Audrey was so unique and good. And the clothes. Hunting for this.

    We did one New Years Eve take the kids to a vintage theater and do three of his movies at once and a lot of popcorn. The Little Prince is so amazing and spare, Dancing in The Rain and maybe this one; by the last one I was gently sleeping.

  5. One of my all time favorite movies. I first saw it as a teenager and haven’t watched it lately. I remember loving the music and the bittersweet story. The fashions were great and Albert Finney was so handsome. Will be ordering this from Netflix. I can hear the music as I write this.

  6. I love this movie–it is absolutely luminous!! When I was in college I had the soundtrack and played it before I went out of dates to evoke my inner Audrey.
    I adored Albert Finney in this movie, the settings, the interiors, the fashion Audrey just perfection!

  7. Oh Q – you slay me with your impeccable selections – that did it – signed up for Netflix – shagalicious Audrey and sizzling sexy Albert Finney… may have to mix up a batch of martinis to watch this…

  8. What a great movie! I need to add this to my queue (ha, pun intended!) immediately :) Love those photos of Audrey Hepburn; such great inspiration. Have a great weekend Q!! xo KO

  9. This is such a delight to read, neither one of us has seen the film and we are excited to put it on the list! I adore Albert Finney, and always enjoy watching Audrey Hepburn, I know it will be simply divine.

    Thank you for such a fabulous tip, and may you enjoy a stellar weekend!

  10. I’ve been so busy shopping High Point, I’ve missed you!! You brought such a smile to my face. What a review!! You are so on your game. I’m going to get even worse with comments, because our fantastic River Run film festival starts tonight and I am going to a thousand movies for the next 10 days. However, I am sending your review to the head of our festival and my UNCSA professor friends . We’ve got the first public art school in the country, here in Winston Salem. Sometimes I can’t even try to look at your blog because I get lost for hours. Arnold says: “I’ll be back.” I will be too. However, I’m passing it on to all my pals.

  11. Thanks for the recommendation. I have never seen this. Looks like a good one..and anything with Audrey just cannot be bad! Have a wonderful weekend. You will have your “goodie box’ on Tuesday!

  12. Well, once again, I am sold. I cannot believe that I have not seen this movie yet, and hope to be able to find a copy soon. It looks (and sounds) fabulous… though I must admit, it is rare for me to dislike a movie with Audrey in it. I do recall watching one of her first that was more of a western style, and not liking it—liking her of course—but the movie was not as intriguing as I had hoped it would be.

    Hope you are having a great weekend so far,

    p.s I would love to go to Ireland, Italy and I… I… I don’t know where else :)

  13. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a young Albert Finney! He was quite handsome. Not at all familiar with this movie and it looks wonderful…thanks for the great tip, I’m in need of a good movie, and Audrey always delivers.
    xo J~

    btw- did you notice the cute ‘little’ champagne glass she’s holding in the ‘dress’ picture, short little thing…I liked it.

  14. You always post about the greatest movies. This one is one of my very favorites. The fashions on Audrey were some of my favorites, especially those sunglasses!
    I think I need to drag this movie out and spend a quiet Sunday afternoon revisiting all it’s glory once again.

    Hoping you’ll have a lazy Sunday too! x Deb

  15. ah, i love a younger albert finney. he is one of my favorites…

    don’t be jealous. come over and join the fun! would love to have a reason to hit up prague this summer. ;)

  16. Thanks for the great suggestion. I could really go for a mini one-day vacation or drive in the country too!

    It’s interesting how the art director uses the clear, crisp colors of Audrey’s clothes — even the geometric forms of her sunglasses are part of the composition. I think this movie is a Spade fave.

Leave a Reply

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