Sunday, February 26, 2017
T Bone Burnett worked with the Coen brothers on the superb sound track as the movie was being written. The music in the film consists mainly of American southern folk music, and the sound track won the Album of the Year Grammy award. I rated this one 5 stars, too.
The two actors, André Gregory and Wallace Shawn, who play themselves, have a certain charm, but a dinner companion would have to be a lot more engaging than André, for me to have patience with a monologue. I gave this one 3 stars.
The story is loosely based on a novella of the same name by the French writer, Colette, and is one of the few books I've read in the original French. The movie is a charming romantic musical comedy set in turn-of-the century Paris. The women in the family are brought up to be courtesans, and they don't marry. As Aunt Alicia, who gives Gigi lessons for her future role, says, "Marriage is not forbidden to us, but instead of getting married at once, it sometimes happens we get married at last."
The cast is listed below.
Leslie Caron as Gilberte ("Gigi")
Maurice Chevalier as Honoré Lachaille
Louis Jourdan as Gaston Lachaille
Hermione Gingold as Madame Alvarez
Eva Gabor as Liane d'Exelmans
Isabel Jeans as Aunt Alicia
Costumes were designed by Cecil Beaton, and the cinematographer was Joseph Ruttenberg. The scenes of Paris are gorgeously idealized, and they are a feast for the eye. The movie won nine academy awards, including Best Picture. 5 stars for Gigi.
In the past, I thought Louis Jordan was dreamily good-looking, but my taste changed over the years. It's not that Jourdan is not good-looking, but he's no longer my dream man.
I remember with fondness Hermione Gingold's regular appearances on The Tonight Show with Jack Paar. Though Paar was sometimes an ass, his guests were often brilliant, and he could hold his own in the banter. When I visited my friend who was at Columbia University over 50 years ago, she had reserved tickets to the show. One guest that evening was the playwright, George S Kaufman. Somehow ostriches as unlikable birds came up in the conversation, and Paar asked Kaufman if he liked ostriches. Kaufman said, "It's hard to say. I know so few ostriches."
Credit to Wikipedia as the source for some of the details about the films.