|Louis Jourdan and Leslie Caron|
Gigi (Leslie Caron) is a young French girl (of about sixteen?) who is being raised by her grandmother, Madame Alvarez (Hermione Gingold). She is also taught lessons in deportment by her Aunt Alicia (Isabel Jeans), as it seems the girl is being groomed to be the courtesan to some wealthy man to avoid a life of comparative poverty. Gigi's mother is not in the picture.
|The title tune: "What miracle has made you the way you are?|
|"I Remember It Well"|
Despite the satisfying ending are there perhaps undertones of misogyny behind the ever-so-polite and genteel goings-on? One doesn't think too much of the grandmother and aunt who expect Gigi to be, in some ways, little better than a prostitute. And Gaston, a wealthy man in Paris who sings about being eternally bored, is not very sympathetic. Rich and living in Paris -- and bored! What the f--k is his problem? Like many early CinemaScope movies there is a scarcity of close-ups that might pull the viewer more into the action and the movie is only on occasion cinematic. And what on earth was Minelli thinking in the second scene at Maxim's where he allows an anxious extra -- a lady at the next table -- to repeatedly distract the audience's attention away from Gaston and Gigi? Still Gigi is entertaining and classy, and if you can ignore its hokier aspects you may find it charming. It won the Best Picture Oscar.
Verdict: A sugary confection. ***1/2.