The worst thing about screen cap based posts is that they seemingly go on forever. In fact, I made over 80 caps of 84 Charing Cross Road this afternoon. Yes, perhaps, I have too much time on my hands, but there is no denying that there are a lot of things to appreciate in this really rather sweet Anglo-American bookish drama.
Starring The Graduate's Anne Bancroft as New York based writer Helene Hanff and a perfectly cast Anthony Hopkins as the reticent and reserved English bookseller Frank Doel, 84 Charing Cross Road is a touching true story of correspondence and friendship based on a mutual love and respect for second hand books. What I love about the film is the differing visions of city life it offers - Helene in her brownstone apartment situated in a leafy avenue somewhere in bustling and colourful New York city, and Frank in dreary post-war London where food still exists in shortages and rain pours.
It's impossible not to look on Helene's script - writer lifestyle in 50s' New York with something of lifestyle envy. She lives in the aforementioned apartment which has to be one of the cosiest abodes I have seen in cinema - writing desk, stacks of yellow paged books and bundles of parchment, typewriter, patterned quilt, end tables with little curiosities and mismatched lamps, picture frames, old radio and telephone, pencil holders with those chunky school-bus yellow pencils, coffee pot and notice board. While Breakfast at Tiffany's or Willliam Styron's Sophie's Choice provide visions of a male writer's New York apartment at in and around the same period, this is the lady's version. And what a nice version it is.
Her wardrobe is perfectly in tune with this lifestyle of busy streets, battered books, dinner parties, newspapers, typing, coffee and cigarettes. There's a touch of the school mistress about it...but only a smidgeon; Helene is too much of a witty urban intellectual to be dowdy after all. It's comfy and thrown to together and lifestyle appropriate The long over coats (does everyone in New York based movies/TV where ankle-skimming coats...the kind that are just thrown on and flap in autumnal breezes, or is this just me?), the comfiest knits, plaid shirts, granddad cardigans, midi- skirts, berets and Peter - Pan type hats, saddle and wicker bags and practical shoes for Central Park wandering, all in tones of emerald, navy, cream and grey. And of course, the reading glasses. She's literary! It's a given!
Now, tell me what's not to love about this?
Chinos and grey cardigan - Granddad, I tell ya!
My favourite cap. Cigarette, that pleasingly messy desk, the soft tobacco sweater, creamy shirt...too much to appreciate here.
Such a great outfit. Awkward skirt, loafers and soaks, tweedy jacket, saddlebag style handbag, beret and gloves.
Notice board. And yes, we should all probably have a similar picture of Anthony Hopkins hanging up.
Stacks and stacks of books.