Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Funny Girl - Barbra Streisand

1968 Musical which awarded the ever so famous Barbra with an Oscar for Best Actress, which she had to share with Katherine Hepburn.

(Fun Fact: this is the only tie in the history of the Oscar's as Barbra had to share the award with Katherine Hepburn who won for The Lion in Winter.)

I haven't posted in a while because I'm working on my post for Chicago (yes I am on a musical kick) and it's ending up to be a lot more detailed than I thought.  SO! In the meantime here is a quick review of a musical that is climbing the ranks as being one of my favorite ever.

I am Fanny Brice.  Or at least I am the Fanny Brice Barbra portrays.

I don't know of any other musical that is so dominated by a sole lead.  Barbra does it all, she IS the soundtrack. No really, look up the track listings.

Barbra wins for her portrayal of the real Fanny Brice.  I was not aware that Ms. Brice was a real person until after I had seen the movie.  If you have time, especially if you've seen the movie, I suggest you click that like I so kindly made and read about her.  It's a somewhat fascinating story for someone born in 1891.

"Hello, gorgeous" are the first words uttered by Barbra in the movie, and were the first words out of her mouth when she accepted her Oscar, AND is in fact #81 on AFI's Top 100 Movie Quotes.  It sets the tone of the movie off the bat.  Not another word is spoken for awhile as the movie begins to unfold.

The depth of her character is one of the best I have seen an actress portray.  The first 3/4 of the movie is absolutely hilarious and you feel attached to Fanny.  You want her to succeed because you know she's just like you in some ways.  She becomes ridiculously famous and yet hides behind a curtain of sarcasm and humor to deflect issues she has with image and self-esteem.  She is undeniably human.  The emotion she puts behind each song she sings is tangible.  Especially the last two songs in the entire movie "Funny Girl" and "My Man"

The last quarter of the movie takes a very serious turn. Instead of roaring with laughter you ache with empathy for Fanny.  Her voice cuts through you as she laments on life and love.

I strongly believe that this movie/musical would have not been nearly as phenomenal had it not been for one Miss Barbra Streisand. Funny Girl turned me into an instant Barbra fan and now there is no turning back.

Until next time, thank you Fanny Brice