“If I were to write a book about my life, it would begin like this: “I was born on May 4, 1929 and died three weeks later.” These words spoken by Audrey Hepburn open the drawn biography devoted to her. The Hollywood star of the 1950s was born in 1929 in Ixelles, Belgium, to a family descended from Dutch nobility. The first years of the woman who charmed the public with her natural elegance and the sparkle of her gaze were very difficult. Whooping cough from which she narrowly escaped, at three weeks old, abandonment, horrors of war, malnutrition, horrors of Nazism, broken dreams... In four parts taking up the title of the four seasons, the work of Eileen Hofer, with the screenplay and by Christopher, in the drawing, brilliantly retraces the personal and artistic journey of Audrey Hepburn.
After an aborted dancing career, the star found salvation in theater, cinema, motherhood and her humanitarian commitment. These different facets are approached with documentary rigor and emotion. More than a rich biography, the album supervised by the youngest son of the icon Luca Dotti, is more of an intimate portrait. His hesitations, his doubts, his physical complexes, his strength of character, his ability to overcome events, his resilience... the authors penetrate the psychological inner workings of a star who alternates with wonderful moments and darker periods.
Audrey Hepburn shines brightly when she falls in love, knows how to form unwavering friendships and gives herself body and soul to her profession. Dotted with classics, her career will have her rub shoulders with the greatest: Gregory Peck to whom she plays opposite in Roman Holiday, Humphrey Bogart, her partner in Sabrina, Gary Grant in Charade... The reader follows the eventful filmings, the relationships sometimes stormy with certain partners, in short the Hollywood crushing machine in which Audrey Hepburn struggles with panache.
Her enthusiasm, her spontaneity invite the benevolence of the most seasoned: “Her blatant innocence makes you want to model it, to transcend it,” said the novelist Colette who gave her her first major role in the theater: the role of Gigi, in the Broadway adaptation of his eponymous novel. A performance which will open the doors of cinema to the young actress. Givenchy, equally charmed by her freshness, made her his great friend and muse. Maurice Chevalier, Fred Astaire, Billy Wilder, to name but a few, make up the prestigious farandole of those who will provide Audrey Hepburn with listening and support.
The story, relayed by the finesse of Christopher's lines, fascinates as much as it moves. Through its dynamic staging, alternating conventional and completely exploded plates, the work wonderfully reveals what Audrey Hepburn's life was like: frenetic hours of glory filled with magic intermingling with healthy breaks on the shores of Lake Geneva. , in his villa called La Paisible.
To extend the adventure, the Parisian gallery Paris Cinéma Club is offering, until October 15, an exhibition of plates from the album coupled with a retrospective of the Hollywood star's films.
Audrey Hepburn, Eileen Hofer et Christopher, Michel Lafon, 25,95 euros
Audrey Hepburn, the graphic novel by Eileen Hoffer and Christopher, until October 15, Galerie Paris Cinéma Club, 28 Rue Mazarine, 75006 Paris. FREE ENTRANCE.