Susan's Reviews > Fifth Avenue, 5 A.M.: Audrey Hepburn, Breakfast at Tiffany's, and the Dawn of the Modern Woman

Fifth Avenue, 5 A.M. by Sam Wasson
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Sep 07, 2010

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Read in August, 2010

I am not sure why the author felt he had to legitimize this film study by connecting the movie to a sociological study, because the book succeeds best as a consideration of the difficulties in modifying a complicated novel into a seminal film. While the author's conclusions are mildly amusing, it is clear that his real love is in tracing the making of this movie by delineating the characters and lives of the major players and intertwining them with the actual real time making of the movie.

The reviews of this book were almost universally raves, with many of them starred reviews. Wasson has a real passion for film and a flair for descriptive writing that can take small moments and string them together into a vivid character study. Occasionally, however, I found the wriing a little too inclined to celeb-mag gushing.

Wasson's passion for film and the cinematic process is very evident in this book, particularly with regard to Capote (author of the novel) and director Blake Edwards. (He has in fact written a book about Edwards' films, A Splurch in the Kisser, 2009). It is fascinating to read that Marilyn Monroe was Capote's choice for Holly Golightly, and that Hepburn really didn't think this was her kind of film. Moon River, that iconic wanderer's ballad, almost didn't make it into the film, and Capote never liked the film.

While I found that the sociological premise alluded to in the title added little to the pleasures of the book, Wasson's admiration for both writer, director and the process of taking a difficult story from book to film makes this a pleasure to read for any film deviotee. Readers who aren't into film may not appreciate the finer points of this book.

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