Review – Funny Girl

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It’s time for ‘F’ in the Alphabet Challenge and the selector has gone for the 1968 musical biopic Funny Girl.

The film tells the true tale of Fanny Brice, played by Barbara Streisand in a role that she had previously played on the stage, in a film directed by William Wyler (most famously the director of Ben Hur and Roman Holiday).

The film follows the tale of Brice from her role as a chorus girl in vaudeville musicals to her stardom in later life. This is linked to the story of her romance with Nicky Arnstein (played by Omar Sharif) who goes on to become her husband.

In terms of songs from the film, the most known to me before watching was Don’t Rain on My Parade, but there are a few that you may recognise, including My Man.

This film lives and dies based solely on the performance of Streisand.  She is in virtually every shot and her transition through the film from wise cracking wannabe, through to superstar is carried entirely through Streisand’s delivery. She is incredible in the role and I can see why she was jointly awarded the Best Actress Oscar (shared with Katherine Hepburn).

Its an enjoyable film, with the lead performance a huge stand out of it.

Throw away observation – Films with intermissions. They should bring this back. Between the intermission and the black screen music that starts the film, there is a real feel of theatre about this film that works perfectly.

8/10

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