Saturday, April 05, 2008

Actress Profiles: Katharine Hepburn in Holiday (1938)

Katharine Hepburn in Holiday (1938)

Katherine Hepburn is an eccentrically-endearing chatterbox. While that was admittedly annoying (intentionally, though, and gloriously over-the-top) in Howard Hawks' Bringing Up Baby, her role in George Cukor's Holiday is of a 'tamer' (at least physically) love interest for screen partner Cary Grant, and thus probably a more convincing one. After all, would a man really fall in love with a girl who ransacked his wedding, lumbered him with a leopard, and single-handedly dismantled his relationship? Grant's weak, easily-led scientist is a product of Hepburn's ability to put you under her spell and make you forget about the consequences, but the situation is different in Holiday.

Her penchant for thinking out loud (usually rashly) is put to good use in what is a film that successfully attempts to detail social transition through the dilemna of love versus principle, a consideration afforded less room to breathe in dominant Hollywood romance. Perhaps it's Hepburn's greatest feat though that she makes us feel like her mind is such an expansive and fascinatingly forward-thinking one that you can see her struggle (often with guilt) to see things for what they really are: an internally-ingrained dilution of thought, if you will.

Rating: *****

1 comment:

goatdog said...

She really is great in this. Are we going to see this movie pop up on your personal canon?