SABRINA - THE ENCHANTING REMAKE
Once Upon A Time on The North Shore of Long Island...
I saw the remake of "Sabrina" 1995 for the first time in my teenage years right after the release before seeing the original. I love Audrey Hepburn in all of her movies. I can say that I enjoyed the original, which I have seen it only once. However, I have lost count of how many times I've seen the remake. Many critics panned this version of "Sabrina", comparing it to the original Audrey Hepburn "Sabrina". Comparisons are hardly ever fair, and there is a natural reflex from every movie buff, which is to prefer any "original" film to its remake. The director Sydney Pollack does an exceptional job, mixing just the right recipe for romance and comedy.
Romantic is the word for this movie. The chauffeur's daughter and the two brothers' love triangle add up to lovable with no gratuitous sex scenes or foul language. The soundtrack is captivating and perfectly captures the feelings of romance and longing. Those are some of the reasons why I love this gem of a film.
Harrison Ford is terrific as Linus Larrabee. He plays a serious ruthless billionaire/businessman, and yet gains our sympathy as he gradually shows a tender and vulnerable side to Linus' crisp exterior. Julia Ormond's Sabrina is just the right mixture of innocence and sophistication. Daughter of the Larrabee's chauffeur, she's grown up on the family estate, obviously outside of their social circle. Greg Kinnear plays David, the younger brother. A self-centered, careless, and carefree playboy. But Greg Kinnear plays him with an utter charm that we understand why women, in general, are so taken with him including the young/innocent Sabrina.
Passionately in love with the youngest son David Larrabee, she spends her time spying on David and fantasizing that she is the girl he's currently cuddling with him in the solarium. Thomas Fairchild (John Wood), the father in an effort to broaden her horizons and get her past this obsession with David, arranges with the wealthy family to send Sabrina to Paris for a year. He hopes she will learn about life and independence while working in the Paris offices of Vogue. While Sabrina is away, David meets beautiful Elizabeth Tyson (Lauren Holly). But everything changes when the girl who used to be the Ugly Duckling, found herself in Paris. After receiving the news of David's engagement, she returns with a Parisian haircut, in a chic black suit with an enormous hat. She is nearly as unrecognizable to us as she is to David. She is, literally, breathtaking and ends up becoming an impending threat to David's marriage and a lucrative corporate merger.
Linus, flawless in business matters, turns Sabrina's attention to himself. Totally unprepared for the consequences of what he originally deems a simple matter. She's dragged in the middle of a business scheme, until winning the heart of a businessman. He quickly passes as a man who spent so much time behind the office that someone had to show him the preciousness of life, and how it can't afford to be wasted. He wasn't aware that he's was falling in love with her. The grow-up Sabrina realizes that she was falling from the wrong brother, and she has more affinities with Linus instead. The feeling is reciprocal. Both Linus and Sabrina are part of hypocrisy that betray an endearing defenselessness and makes them two persons ironically fitting one another. When the truth is revealed, Sabrina decides to return from what she calls "home." David found himself in a state of maturity by taking into consideration that his character's arc had to be closed by the fact that for the first time, he'll allow his brother to live his life by sending him to Paris to meet the love of his life. The authoritarian, yet compassionate mother with intimate knowledge of her two sons' psychology tells Linus it is time for him to run away from home. In that faithful night in Paris, Linus apologizes to Sabrina and said she knows him better than anyone else, he thinks she knows he loves her, and in return, Sabrina opens her heart because she knew how much she needed him too.
Sabrina approaches the two myths of Cinderella and the Ugly Duckling. It is also a simple story of how a king is transformed by the love of a woman. A solid better remake. I find myself watching this magnificent work over and over and over, and never tiring of it!
Ormond wears no particularly fabulous clothes. Instead, she wears an Armani look-alike pantsuit, low key jewelry, and a hat with a turned-up, wide brim. "It's not about clothes. It's about wealth," says costume designer Bernie Pollack, who also is the director's brother. Ford wears very conservative, somewhat stuffy outfits: single-breasted gray or blue suits with white or cream shirts and polka-dot bow ties, wire-rimmed eyeglasses. They were all made by Parisian designer Nino Cerruti.