FEDORA -- At the Capitol Hill and K-B Janus.
It turns out that "Fedora" isnt a movie about a hat at all, but a kind of peek-a-boo speculation about a face under a hat -- and not a fedora, either, but a floppy straw hat.
The face doesn't exactly belong to a person or a character, but a kind of amalgamized celebrity. The film doesn't quite have a story, it has a mystery about whether or not there is a story.
It's really quite simple. Suppose Greta Garbo lived on a private, Jacqueline Onassis-type island in Greece, shunning public attention. Would you assume that there's a peculiar reason behind this situation -- a story, in the supermarket magazine sense of the term? Would you be dying to know what it was?
If so -- and we all have our favorite forms of trash, no matter how much we despise other people's tastes in trash -- "Fedora" has a kind of unabashed and jaunty air to it. William Holden as a former callow youth, now a callow middle-aged man; Hildegarde Neff as a gothic-novel villianess, Marthe Keller as a face -- they all have a certain lack of embarrassment about the situation, which is sort of funny.
Henry Fonda and Michael York, on the other hand, play themselves by name, and they look drenched in embarrassment.But, then, that's kind of funny, too. An item for so-bad-it's-good fans.