July 28, 2010
Character Icon: Katharine Hepburn
Ever since I read Zadie Smith's essay on Katharine Hepburn from Smith's latest collection of essays, Changing My Mind, I have been filling my Netflix queue with Hepburn films. Adam's Rib and Woman of the Year (both with her real-life, longtime love Spencer Tracy) have been the latest to arrive and I am expecting Stage Door and The Philadelphia Story next week.
I have always been a K.Hepburn fan since I saw Bringing Up Baby with Carey Grant. This film is a MUST SEE if you haven't already - hilarious!
In watching the films, I see why I have come to admire Hepburn so much - she's completely comfortable in her own skin. She's tough and smart, while maintaining her feminine wiles to flirt shamelessly with her male costars. She knows her beauty and charm are powers she needs to ascend within her society. And her character in Woman of the Year realizes that a dream career as a newspaper columnist is not enough without the man she loves, a partner in crime with whom she can spend her days. I love how she finds the balance of the two things I find myself wanting: a successful career and the love of a good man.
A style side note: Hepburn has savvy, enviable fashion sense (or rather the costume designers of her films have this sense)! My favorite is the black jumper she wears in the final scene of Woman of the Year:
Image found here.