One of the Best Actress Oscar nominations that the late, great Audrey Hepburn earned was for her luminous, intelligent, sophisticated work in Billy Wilder's SABRINA. The movie opens like a modern day fairy tale with the words "Once upon a time." Wilder's 1954 classic, a lemon peel twist on the Cinderella tale with a look at social class mobility and divisions in American, put Hepburn in a tough and highly exciting Oscar race. The top two contenders were Judy Garland for her spectacular film comeback in the dramatic musical A STAR IS BORN and Grace Kelly for ditching glamour and dressing down in THE COUNTRY GIRL, a movie in which she played the drab, serious wife of a co-dependent alcoholic singer on the skids. Garland was the favorite. Kelly won the Oscar. As for SABRINA, the role of the chauffeur's daughter who sees the playboy son of her father's boss as her Prince Charming, fit Audrey like a long velvet glove.
Not that one needs to remake a Billy Wilder classic, as Sydney Pollack admitted on TCM when he was a guest host. He remade SABRINA, a 1995 release starring Harrison Ford, Greg Kinnear and Julia Ormond. But if there was another remake of the sparkling Billy Wilder classic, here's my idea for the lead actress to play the chauffeur's daughter: Lupita Nyong'o.
Audrey Hepburn was born this day in history, May 4th.