Filled with fascinating footage and pictures that Audrey Hepburn fans will not have seen before, this documentary film widens our perceptive of who the actress really was.
Audrey Hepburn is certainly one of the most endearing and fascinating actresses to emerge through the golden age of cinema. There is no doubting that the love for her continues to this day because of her gracefulness, compassionate nature and of course for many her sense of style. But as this interesting and warm documentary film shows, she was also more than the icon that she became.
Filled with interviews with people who knew her best including family friends, one of her sons Sean Hepburn Ferrer and her granddaughter Emma Hepburn Ferrer to name a few, this documentary has a real intimate vibe to it.
From her childhood in which her father disappeared without a trace in the build up to the Second World War, the War itself in which she came out of it malnourished and traumatised all the way through to becoming one of the most recognised actresses in the world – every element of her life is examined through new eyes.
However, it would be fair to say that some elements could have been explored in a little more depth, particularly with regards to the more heartbreaking elements of her story with regards to her family and marriages. While it is clear that this was intended to be a loving and respectful tribute, there is clearly still elements of her private life that still have to remain private, with the moments that reflect on some of these parts feeling brief and almost skipped over.
This being said, director Helena Coan has clearly done an elegant and thoughtful job in piecing together elements of her life as well as ensuring that Audrey’s voice comes through consistently. The featuring of previously unseen images of her being at home or being around friends as well as unseen footage and soundbites will delight fans.
But it was also it is her modesty and insecurities that shine through as well. While everyone interviews mentions her strength, it is again her voice that really stands out as she proclaims in relation to her looks that she “would like to have changed everything” – showing that even someone who was considered to be one of the most beautiful women in the world didn’t like her looks and was honest about it.
The documentary is given extra style with some lovely ballet sequences, reflecting Hepburn’s desire to have become a ballet dancer – something that was sadly not due to happen due to her height among other reasons. The performances from Alessandra Ferri and Francesca Hayward, capture the spirit and delicacy of Audrey Hepburn perfectly and adds a lovely quality to the film.
But it is the section that focuses on her humanitarian work, her using her fame for the power of good to help children living in poverty and sickness as an ambassador for UNICEF that really is fascinating. The footage reveals a woman who was at her happiest helping others and it really is a moving part of the documentary that really stands out.
As a fan of Audrey Hepburn myself, I would quite happily watch this again. It is an intimate and warm portrayal of an actress and woman who continues to inspire to this day. A beautiful and elegant film.
By Emma Clarendon
Audrey: More Than an Icon is available to watch and buy through all major streaming services including Amazon, Googleplay and iTunes.