By: Alex Phuong (Two Beers) –
Julie Andrews is one of the most iconic actresses of all time. She won an Oscar for her film debut in Mary Poppins (1964), and she sung her heart out in The Sound of Music (1965). Even with such a great start to her film career, Julie Andrews suffered from typecasting from her “squeaky clean image.” In opposition to that notion, Julie Andrews tackled very risqué roles as an attempt to shatter that image. One of those films was S.O.B. (1981), and then Andrews did what is perhaps her most sizzling performance in Victor Victoria. Directed by her own husband, Blake Edwards, Julie Andrews created one of her most signature roles outside of Disney and Rodgers and Hammerstein. The final result is an Oscar-nominated performance for a film that explored a controversial topic–human sexuality.
This is definitely one of Julie Andrews’s greatest performances. As a woman pretending to be a man pretending to be a woman, Andrews knew how to navigate the tangled web of lies that her character gets stuck in as she struggled to survive in 1934 Paris. The music is also spectacular, especially the song “Le Jazz Hot.” The screenplay was also very daring even though it might have been considered too “hot” (pun intended) to win the Oscar. Nevertheless, this is one of the boldest and most original films that Julie Andrews ever starred in.
Even with great production values, performances, and music, this film is surprisingly violent. Who knew that Julie Andrews had the ability to punch! Such content is actually justifiable, though, because it gives the film a sense of realism while also reiterating the fact that sometimes life can be very difficult. Perhaps that is the reason why this film deals with such controversial subject matter. As Norma Cassady, Lesley Ann Warren also plays a surprisingly feisty character given her explosive personality, which is probably why she would be willing to behave so scandalously (and receive an Oscar nomination for her performance). Even with that minor issue, the film still contains one of the most interesting plots that the silver screen has ever known.
Before there were popular LGBT-centered forms of entertainment (such as the TV show Will & Grace and the film Milk), Victor Victoria redefined what filmmakers could produce. Its open depiction of homosexual themes meant that Hollywood censorship changed alongside the shifting Hollywood landscape during its original release in 1982. Its legacy endures today because Chris Colfer did his own rendition of the musical number “Le Jazz Hot” during the second season of Glee. This film also managed to earn a “PG” rating even though it presented topics that would make some audiences feel uncomfortable. Nevertheless, Victor Victoria will always remain a gender-bending classic.
Victor Victoria (1982) Drinking Game
Take a Drink: every time Julie Andrews sings with a voice that (literally) shatters glass
Take a Drink: during every LGBT reference
Drink a Shot: every time Julie Andrews repeatedly sings the phrase “Le Jazz Hot” (and also for the dancers snapping their fingers during that show-stopping musical number)