Sabrina (1995) is a English,French movie. Sydney Pollack has directed this movie. Harrison Ford,Julia Ormond,Greg Kinnear,Nancy Marchand are the starring of this movie. It was released in 1995. Sabrina (1995) is considered one of the best Comedy,Drama,Romance movie in India and around the world.
While she was growing up, Sabrina Fairchild spent more time perched in a tree watching the Larrabee family than she ever did on solid ground. As the chauffeur's daughter on their lavish Long Island estate, Sabrina was invisible behind the branches, but she knew them all below - There is Maude Larrabee, the modern matriarch of the Larrabee Corporation; Linus Larrabee, the serious older son who expanded a successful family business into the world's largest communications company; and David, the handsome, fun-loving Larrabee, who was the center of Sabrina's world until she was shipped off to Paris. After two years on the staff of Vogue magazine, Sabrina has returned to the Larrabee estate but now she has blossomed into a beautiful and sophisticated woman. And she's standing in the way of a billion dollar deal.
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Romantic is the word for this movie. The story, the settings, everything adds up to romantic. And it's clean - no gratuitous sex scenes or foul language! A rarity for a 90s movie. This movie has a timeless quality to it, and part of the reason is the (again) extremely romantic score! Many critics panned this version of "Sabrina", unfairly comparing it to the original Audrey Hepburn "Sabrina". Nobody could ever compare to Audrey Hepburn, but Julia Ormond is a fine Sabrina in her own right. She makes the transition from awkward teen to glamorous woman with subtlety and grace. Greg Kinnear shows a natural flair for acting in his first major movie role.
I saw the original "Sabrina" before ever seeing the remake. I adored Audrey Hepburn in all of her movies, and this was not an exception. Her comedic timing was perfect. She was completely believable as a young ingenue, and of course, she would not be Audrey Hepburn if she weren't absolutely breakthtaking on screen. But while I enjoyed the original, I have seen it only once, whereas I have seen the remake so many times I have lost count! The 1995 "Sabrina" is a gem of a film. I keep hearing myself describe it as funny, but sometimes I wonder if that's even the right word. That's because except for that rather unexpected burst of laughter from Linus' secretary, which cracks me up EVERY time I get to that part, I have never found myself laughing aloud while watching this movie. But the humor is so cleverly written, it is impossible to ignore just how charming and comical this movie is. The script is wonderfully brought to life by the outstanding cast. Harrison Ford is superb as Linus Larrabee. He plays Linus as a serious and almost ruthless businessman, and yet gains our sympathy as he gradually shows a tender and vulnerable side to Linus' cool exterior. Greg Kinnear is well-cast as Linus' dish of a younger brother, David. True, David is self-centered, careless, and carefree. But Greg Kinnear plays him with utter charm that we understand why Sabrina and women in general are so taken with him. And what of Julia Ormond? Well, I think she was absolutely perfect as Sabrina. If she had felt any trepidation essaying the role that had been so closely identified with an icon like Audrey Hepburn, none of her nerves translated on to the screen. She IS Sabrina. I think it's a wonderful combination of her beauty and acting skills that helped her succeed in this role. The sincerity of her performance makes Sabrina so appealing and completely lovable. The performances of the three leads are complemented by a fine supporting cast made up of John Wood, Nancy Marchand, Dana Ivey, Richard Crenna, and Angie Dickinson. Some of the film's funniest moments involve their characters. And then there is the exquisite soundtrack composed by John Williams. The score is at once dreamy and intoxicating. Two songs that were written for the movie, "(In the) Moonlight" and "How Can I Remember?", are just as memorable and perfectly capture the feelings of romance and longing. Hollywood has made a number of successful romantic movies, and I think "Sabrina" ranks as one of its best. Its charm never wears off. It sweeps you off your feet and makes your heart soar. It is a marvelous, marvelous film!
Tempting though it may be to compare this film to the 1954 version, you will miss the point if you do. To understand the true magic of Sydney Pollack's masterpiece, read the Samuel A. Taylor play both films were based on. While I'm sure the play was a great evening out at the theater between martinis in the 1950s, it's somewhat incredible that two film versions so profoundly translated this lightweight romantic comedy, each in its own time. In 1954, Billy Wilder used an incredible cast to entertain. No, Bogart should never have been cast. Cary Grant might have created the dynamic relationship with Audrey Hepburn we fortunately got to see later in Charade, but if Bogart had not been cast would the film hold its classic status? Hepburn transfixed an audience and brought to the world La Vie en Rose. William Holden is period eye candy, and the film will always be fun. Forty years later, however, Pollack made an important film. Taylor's play is, after all, just a fairy tale, and this film fully realizes it. Ormond is enchanting. Kinnear ripens the always empty David. Fanny Ardant brings a french cinema quality to the film's Paris episodes. Marchand's "I didn't teach you this" culminates what may be one of the best written scenes in American film. You can watch this scene over and over and each time gain a better understanding of how great acting can define a relationship, this one between mother and son, for an audience. But this film should have been called Linus. Harrison Ford's tour de force performance as the greater Larrabee fulfills Pollack's mission to tell a simple story of how a king is transformed by the love of a woman. "It was a lie, then it was a dream."
I was surprised at how good this movie is. A remake of a movie starring Audrey Hepburn, Humphrey Bogart and William Holden, directed by one of the greats of American cinema, Billy Wilder, is not exactly the kind of task for the faint of heart. The fact that Sydney Pollack (They Shoot Horses Don't They? (1969), Tootsie (1982), Out of Africa (1985), etc.) decided to do it must have raised a few eyebrows in Hollywood land. And let's just say I had preconceptions as I sat down to watch this. No way could this be anything near as good as the original. And for the first twenty minutes or so I was not dissuaded. Julia Ormond, who was given Miss Hepburn's title role, seemed nothing far removed from ordinary; and Greg Kinnear, who played the playboy David Larrabee, seemed a poor imitation of William Holden. Of course Harrison Ford, I told myself, is another story, since he is the embodiment of the fulfillment of the desire of many woman, and a fine, accomplished leading man. He would be, I suspected, the lone bright spot. In the original, Humphrey Bogart, a little past his prime, and in not exactly the best of moods, and not entirely pleased with the relatively inexperienced Audrey Hepburn, played the cool tycoon Linus Larrabee with some distracted forbearance in what many consider one of his lesser performances. Surely Harrison Ford could improve on that. He did, but what really surprised me was just how diabolically clever the oh, so romantic script by Barbara Benedek and David Rayfiel turned out to be. I mean, Cinderella move over. Sabrina could not have achieved a more glorious existence had she died and gone to heaven. It is hard to imagine a more fulfilling fantasy for a chauffeur's daughter than what transpires here. Quickly here's the premise of this celluloid fairy tale/romance: Pretty but ordinary Sabrina, born of working class parents, her father the chauffeur of the ultra rich Larrabees, grows up living above the garage in the palatial Larrabee estate. She watches the lavish parties thrown by the Larrabees from a spot in a tree and falls madly in the kind of puppy love that never goes away with the younger of the Larrabee brothers, David, who is the kind of guy who gives playboys a bad name. When she comes of age, she goes away to Paris (apparently to work for a fashion magazine: in the original Sabrina, she goes to a cooking school in Paris), picks up confidence and a new kind of eye-popping sophistication, comes back and...well, gets noticed. The basic skeleton of this, the story from the first Sabrina (1954), which is dreamily romantic enough and then some, is greatly augmented here with some very fine psychological touches including developing Sabrina's character beyond the pretty and stylish to something bordering on the wise and heroic. Suffice it to say that we come away feeling she deserves every rainbow's end she gets. I can see Benedek and Rayfiel exclaiming with riotous joy as they are writing the script (trading e-mails perhaps): "They want romance, they want woman's fantasy? They want Sabrina to have a pot of gold and true love everlasting? How about riches beyond counting and the doting attention of the two handsome, very rich brothers? She can take her pick. We've give 'em romance, we'll give 'em dreams come true!" And they do. Not only that, but they keep us guessing about who gets the girl until the last possible moment, and they do that very cleverly. Of course it helps to have professional direction by Sydney Pollack and a fine cast including Harrison Ford--at his best, by the way--and Julia Ormond, a hard-working and talented actress (I recall her from Smilla's Sense of Snow, 1997), who knows how to be cute without fawning, supported by Greg Kinnear, Nancy Marchand, John Wood and Angie Dickinson. I mention Miss Dickinson because, as the mother of a perspective bride about to throw an incredibly lavish wedding, she gets to deliver this "let them eat cake" line: "We thought we'd use recycled paper" (for the wedding invitations). The script is full of similar witticisms, some verbal, some like eye candy. For example, when Sabrina removes her glasses (the usual Hollywood signal for the adolescent ugly duckling to become a beautiful swan) after gaining sophistication in Paris, she quotes aptly but surprisingly from Gertrude Stein: "America is my country and Paris is my home." (Of course Gertrude Stein never heard of Paris, Texas--but that is another film, and besides, I digress...) I also liked it when Sabrina is in the arms of her Paris would-be lover who kisses her, and--noticing that she is not as engaged as she might me–observes with perfect decorum, "I'm embarrassed that you're somewhere else." Memorable was the shot of Harrison Ford momentarily looking jealous and hurt. By the way, he has a number of good lines, and he delivers them well. I especially liked it when he sadly confessed: "I was sent to deal with you. I sent myself." It is probably better if you haven't seen the original and can experience this on its own merits without the odiousness that sometimes comes with comparisons. Comparing Audrey Hepburn with Julia Ormond is like comparing Grace Kelly with Jennifer Lopez. They really are very different people. And comparing Billy Wilder's 1954 film (from the play by Samuel Taylor) is a little like comparing Lon Chaney's Phantom of the Opera with Andrew Lloyd Webber's. Bottom line: see this for both Harrison Ford who wears the business-first character of the "only surviving heart donor" very well, and for Julia Ormond whose intense and beguiling performance makes us forgive her for not being Audrey Hepburn. (Note: Over 500 of my movie reviews are now available in my book "Cut to the Chaise Lounge or I Can't Believe I Swallowed the Remote!" Get it at Amazon!)
Comparisons are hardly ever fair, yet people insist on making them. DON'T compare this film to the original. Who cares? Judge it on it's own merits, and you'll come up with a winner. The interaction between the players is seamless. The dialog is witty, intelligent, at times touching, and always believable. This "Sabrina" is a delight. A truly classic romantic comedy in the finest sense of the word. Harrison Ford portrays Linus Larrabee, perfectly blending ruthless billionaire and socially awkward male. Flawless in business matters, he's out of his element and totally unprepared for the consequences of what he originally deems a simple matter, turning Sabrina Fairchild's interest to himself instead of brother David (Greg Kinnear), thereby saving both an impending marriage and lucrative corporate merger. Julia Ormond's Sabrina is just the right mixture of sophistication and innocence. Daughter of the Larrabee's chauffeur, she's grown up on the family estate, yet outside of their social circle, of course. Passionately in love with youngest son David Larrabee, we see her in the movie's opening moments hard at her favorite pastime, spying on David and fantasizing that she is the girl he's currently schmoozing at mother Maude's annual birthday bash. Her father, Thomas Fairchild (John Wood) in an effort to broaden her horizons and get her past this obsession with David, arranges with Maude (Nancy Marchand) 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), up and coming pediatrician. Coincidentally, she is the daughter of Patrick Tyson (Richard Crenna), owner of Tyson Electronics, a high technology firm that Linus has had his eye on for some time. As his brother's relationship blossoms, Linus quietly begins buying up Tyson stock. To Linus, everything seems to be proceeding as it should be. David and Elizabeth have finally set a date. He and Patrick Tyson are in serious merger negotiations. Maude and Ingrid Tyson (Angie Dickenson) are planning their children's monster wedding. All is about to change, however. A year has passed. Once again, Maude's birthday party approaches. It's also time for Sabrina to come home. Director Sydney Pollack does an exceptional job, mixing just the right recipe of romance and comedy throughout. We, the audience, are just as stunned as the movie's characters at the "new" Sabrina. With a Parisian haircut, in chic black with enormous sunglasses, she is nearly as unrecognizable to us as she obviously is to David. In town to pick up a gift for his mother, David, ever the playboy, offers what he clearly sees as an incredibly hot girl a lift home. He has no idea it's Sabrina, and she exacts a small measure of delicious revenge during the ride, watching him squirm uncomfortably as he tries vainly to remember who she is. To make amends and intrigued by the mystery, David invites her to "his house" for a drink. She accepts gleefully. The charade continues until they arrive at the Larrabee estate (quite a bit of which was filmed at the Harrison Conference Center in Glen Cove, NY), whereupon Linus instantly recognizes her and welcomes her home. Linus, who never misses much, also sees trouble. Big trouble, judging by the smitten look on his brother's face. Thomas Fairchild, in turn, watching his daughter steam out a dress for Maude's party, doesn't like it much either. This was not at all what he had planned when he sent her to Paris. The night of Maude's party arrives, complete with a live band, perfect weather ("It never rained on a Larrabee party. The Larrabee's wouldn't have allowed it..."), and, this time, as an invited guest, Sabrina. Admittedly, there are many actresses on screen today for whom the word "beautiful" is but a pale description. Even so, I would put Ormand's Sabrina on the party's walkway as one of the most incredibly stunning appearances of all time. She is, literally, breathtaking. And David, to the panicked concern of his mother and brother, is done when he sees her. Finished. Forget Elizabeth. Forget the impending marriage. He sees nothing but Sabrina, while Maude and Linus see a billion dollar merger about to go into the tank. That's enough plot synopsis. Suffice it to say that Linus and Maude decide to get David out of the way while Linus puts right what is going terribly wrong. You'll have to watch the rest of this charming film to see how it all turns out. The casting is first class. Besides Ford and Ormond, Nancy Marchand's Maude is acerbically intelligent, blending wealthy arrogance (Can't we SEND somebody?") and human compassion for Sabrina, with a deep love, and intimate knowledge of the psychology of her two sons. Greg Kinnear shines as the lovably lazy David, who works hardest at doing nothing productive. Lauren Holly's Elizabeth is the perfect opposite. The supporting players are no less capable in their respective roles. John Wood is always elegant as the quintessential chauffeur and loving father. It brought a smile to see Crenna and Dickenson together again as the Tysons, and veteran character actress Dana Ivey is a gem as Mack, Linus' watchdog assistant (But he PAYS me to tell him..."). Some of the movie's best scenes are with the remainder of the ensemble cast in the servant's kitchen, particularly those with Rosa (Miriam Colon). So, in conclusion, I emphatically urge you to rent, or better still, buy this film. Though the Bogart/Hepburn purists will probably flame me into oblivion, I'm sure you'll find it entertaining, heartwarming, and absolutely leisure time well spent!