Director William Wyler’s “Funny Girl,” TCM Fest 2013‘s opening-night film, vividly restored and splashed across Grauman’s huge screen, proved a tour de force beyond our memory of it. In her motion picture debut, Barbra Streisand performs in every possible context: she’s sings in comic numbers and torch songs; she sings while dancing and amidst love scenes. She’s fresh, funny, vulnerable, and makes amazingly smart acting decisions. Dressed to the nines by costumer Irene Sharaff, Streisand looks sensational: the regal nose, sculpted hair, full lips, dewy skin. As her gambler husband Nick Arnstein, Omar Sharif proves a strong foil. Of the wonderful musical numbers choreographed by Herb Ross, “Don’t Rain on my Parade,” filmed on trains and boats, thrills with adventurous cinematography.
Irene Sharaff, who dressed so many movies musicals, including WEST SIDE STORY and THE KING AND I, equips Barbra Streisand, as vaudevillian Fanny Brice, with bracing, highly colored garb for FUNNY GIRL (1968). Two of our favorite ensembles: a leopard coat and matching hat, and a great dance costume mashing purple tights with green roller skates. Faux grape clusters decorate the shoulder and skirt. Brilliant!