Funny Face appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Though it came with positives, the transfer suffered from too many flaws.
The primary culprit came from a variety of processing issues. Edge haloes became awfully prominent at times – usually in Maggie’s office – and it appeared digital noise reduction stripped the image of some detail. These factors meant that close-ups could look quite nice but wider shots tended to be soft and mushy. Those haloes could create real distractions and turned into the most negative aspect of the image.
No shimmering or jagged edges appeared, and the movie lacked print flaws. Hues worked well, as the movie’s bright Technicolor palette usually looked bright and bubbly. Blacks were dark and deep, and shadows showed nice clarity. Again, the image came with some good elements, but the mix of softness, noise reduction and edge haloes left this as a “C-“ transfer.
Remixed from the original monaural – which also appeared on the disc – the film’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack seemed acceptable. One shouldn’t expect a lot from the soundscape, though, as it remained restrained. Music demonstrated decent stereo spread but the rest of the material seemed to stay monaural. That was fine, as a musical like this didn’t need to do much with the soundfield beyond the expansion of the songs and score.
Audio quality appeared acceptable for its age. Speech was intelligible and without edginess; the lines sounded a bit stiff but worked well enough. Effects didn’t have much to do but they came across as reasonably accurate.
Music became the most important factor and seemed pretty well-reproduced. The score and songs didn’t boast a lot of range, but they were smooth and lush enough to succeed. A little sibilance could affect vocals, however. In the end, this was a workable but unremarkable track for a nearly 60-year-old film.
In addition to the film’s trailer, we find five featurettes. Kay Thompson: Think Pink! runs 26 minutes, 37 seconds and includes notes from biographer Sam Irvin, “Kay Thompson Tribute Show” performer Jim Caruso, singers Liza Minnelli and Dick Williams, artist Hilary Knight, writer Mart Crowley, and actor Ruta Lee. “Think” gives us a biographer of Thompson, with an emphasis on her part in Funny Face. The show offers a brisk and enjoyable look at her career.
For a look at the photographic process used in Funny Face, we move to the 24-minute, 42-second This Is VistaVision. It provides remarks from cinematographer Steve Gainor, Paramount Pictures camera department head Marianne Franco, visual effects supervisor Richard Edlund, Paramount Pictures producer AC Lyles, and Hitchcock at Work author Bill Krohn. The piece gives us a history of the development and use of VistaVision. It doesn’t seem especially deep but it offers some interesting notes.
With Fashion Photographers Exposed, we get a 17-minute, 54-second piece with photographers Joe Magnani and Jared Schlachet, wardrobe stylist Hollie Williamson, hair and makeup artist Norma Blaque, and celebrity styling agent Crystal Wright. “Exposed” examines the work that goes into fashion photography, with a mild emphasis on connections to Audrey Hepburn and Funny Face. This seems like a good idea but the end result doesn’t really go anywhere.
The Fashion Designer and His Muse fills eight minutes, eight seconds with info from Audrey Style author Pamela Keogh and designer/author Jeffrey Banks. They discuss fashions worn by Hepburn as well as her relationship with designer Givenchy. This becomes another decent but unsubstantial program.
Finally, the seven-minute, 40-second Parisian Dreams offers material from film historian Drew Casper and Ile De France Film Commission writer/director Olivier-Rene Veillon. “Dreams” examines the use of Paris in the movie as well as some visual elements. Like its predecessors, this one comes with a few worthwhile details but doesn’t give us much meat.
With two Hollywood legends in front of the camera, Funny Face uses their talents to make it a winning experience. Though it lacks especially vivid music or dancing, it comes with enough likable energy to make it enjoyable. The Blu-ray presents flawed picture along with acceptable audio and average supplements. I can’t call this a classic movie musical, but it entertains.
Note that the reviewed copy of Funny Face comes as part of a three-disc “Audrey Hepburn Collection”. This set also includes Blu-rays for Sabrina and Breakfast at Tiffany’s.