Directed by Helena Coan, examines the remarkable life and career of actress, fashion icon and humanitarian Audrey Hepburn. Starring: Robin Ager, Michael Avedon, Emma Hepburn Ferrer, Sean Hepburn Ferrer, Alessandra Ferri, Francesca Hayward, Clare Waight Keller, Keira Moore and Mita Ungaro.
Just simply saying the name Audrey Hepburn will likely immediately call to mind for millions of people the iconic image of Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany’s but as this documentary explores, there was so much more to her. Where this film succeeds so well is in its wide view of Hepburn’s life, it’s not trying to simply delve into the details surrounding her time on set or her most famous roles, it’s taking in her entire existence and giving you the full picture. There is plenty to learn that you may well have never known about this legendary actress and remarkable woman.
One of the most impressive aspects of the film is the tone that it sets, opening upon a recreation of Audrey through dance is stunning and atmospheric, it kicks things off on exactly the right note. What then follows is a beautiful mix of talent, creativity and passion alongside a palpable sadness that Hepburn held through the disappointments and traumas of her personal life. The balance that it strikes being playful, bright, touching and genuine is entirely engrossing, it will open your eyes to how complex of a woman she was and her endless generosity and compassion. Coan’s choice to include a lot of archival footage and audio of interviews with Hepburn give it such a brilliantly well-rounded feel, at times it’s like hearing the story of her life from Hepburn herself which is a lovely thing to experience from such an eloquent, intelligent woman. That footage also adds to the atmosphere of the film, injecting it with that stylish, chic air that goes along with Hepburn’s image in the 60s and 70s.
The way that they chose to tell this story, with a lot of close, personal friends and family gives it an intimate and personal feel. It sincerely feels loving and adoring, without becoming overly emphatic, it tells of her persona and the respect and gratitude naturally flow, rather than it simply being unending praise for her talent. One of the things that it very clearly exposes is that Hepburn used her fame for good, later in life she translated her worldwide recognition into charity to give help to utterly worthy causes. It’s the cherry on top of her inspiring story and she’s certainly set a precedent that other actors should aspire to, in both their professional and philanthropic lives.
Audrey will give you a new respect for not only an incredible actress but an inspirational woman. There’s plenty to learn that you might not have known before and Coan has created such a loving, compassionate tone that does the ultimate justice to such a story. It’s beguiling to watch and truly shows you the life behind the icon.