Funny Girl succeeds thanks to Barbra Streisand's bravura performance, recapturing her star-making success on the Broadway stage. Though he wasn't known for directing comedies or musicals, director William Wyler ably helms the biographical tale of comedienne Fanny Brice; the storyline is as compelling as the musical numbers. Reportedly, Wyler and Streisand clashed frequently during the film's production, though the conflict doesn't show in the final product. Oscar-nominated Kay Medford is excellently cast as Fanny's mother Rose; there's even an on-screen appearance of the often-heard but seldom-seen Mae Questel, the voice of Betty Boop, among others. Though not the most comprehensive biography, Funny Girl is an entertaining musical, showcasing Streisand's unique talent and undeniable star power. The actress would score an unconventional Best Actress win for her work, tying with Katherine Hepburn for The Lion In Winter. Streisand and Medford became the 34th and 35th performers nominated for Oscars for work in a film directed by Wyler, a record which still stands.
by Richard Gilliam review