The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part
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It may not be one of Vincente Minnelli's best, but the charming and flawlessly acted Gigi still offers enough visual and musical treats to satisfy.
All Critics (33)
| Top Critics (8)
| Fresh (26)
| Rotten (7)
| DVD (10)
With Louis Jourdan as the bored playboy, Maurice Chevalier a delight as the ageless Gallic rake and Leslie Caron radiating her sunny gamin charm as Gigi.
Gigi is an enjoyable parfait - a frothy concoction that at times makes the viewer giddy - but it lacks the traits of greatness one might expect from a production so dizzyingly honored.
With so many outstanding performances in the film, it is to Maurice Chevalier's great credit that he is able to steal the show.
The performances are well nigh faultless.
Gigi is dressed to kill, but if all the French finery impresses the customers, it also smothers the story.
It's easy to drift away from the story and become absorbed in Minnelli's impossibly delicate textures, but there is a little something here for everybody.
Colette's tale about the training of a schoolgirl cocotte blown up into a full-scale musical, starts things oil with a bang.
Lovely to behold, but the story has dated very badly.
There's a fine bittersweet air to this tale that leaves you longing to see it again.
Given the shortage of dancing and soaring vocal melodies...Minnelli must lean heavily on personality and a spectacle defined by the pageantry of historic locations, sets and costumes. [Blu-ray]
The great Minnelli was surely one of the masters of the American musical, but Gigi was one of his misfires.
...one of Hollywood's most celebrated classics from an era when studios were still making meticulous, tune-filled musicals.
Director Vincente Minnelli fills the screen with so much color and pageantry, the eyes can barely contain it all. There's a magnificence to the presentation that seems to have spared no expense in recreating the French fashions. Cecil Beaton's production design, costumes and scenery is the ultimate. It is sumptuous. There's such an old fashioned grandeur that relies so heavily on sets and wardrobe that it is kind of fascinating. Even for 1958, Gigi was a bit of a throwback to an earlier time. It was the last great MGM musical of Hollywood's golden age, although Minnelli would direct Bells are Ringing in 1960 and that's pretty wonderful too.
The cast is captivating. My favorites are Maurice Chevalier and Hermione Gingold. They are an absolute delight, particularly in their witty duet, ""I Remember It Well". Other song highlights are "Thank Heaven for Little Girls" and "Gigi". Leslie Caron is a spirited vision as the title character. No one conveys indignant exasperation like suave Louie Jourdan. The script is rather funny too. Isabel Jeans as the highly strung Aunt Alicia delivers some of the best lines with perfect timing and intonation during her tutelage. Classic lines abound. "A topaz? Among my jewels? Are you mad?" "Bad table manners, my dear Gigi, have broken up more households than infidelity." "Wait for the first-class jewels, Gigi. Hold on to your ideals." The social mores and customs are amusingly dated, but that's really the point now isn't it? Let's just say, they don't make 'em like this anymore.
Leonardo DiCaprio has never been awarded an Oscar... but somehow, this disaster won nine of them. What a vapid, pointless movie. The plot is "this young girl had best grow into the social graces of womanhood so that a rich, unattainable man will want to marry her." Then she does. The acting is hammy, even for a musical, and these bourgeois blowhards don't seem to work at anything. Paris and the French are stereotyped beyond belief, and if not for the occasionally witty lyrics - which the film can hardly be credited for, as this was adapted from the stage - there is nothing redeeming about this relic. It was a different time, sure, but this film beat out Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and the much more provocative and entertaining The Defiant Ones... plus, Spencer Tracy starred in The Old Man and the Sea... which wasn't even nominated! I know, I know; greatness is not defined by the Academy Awards. But the idea that this film gets to stand beside The Deer Hunter, The Best Years of Our Lives, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Casablanca, Unforgiven, Kramer vs. Kramer, (or even Forrest Gump or Rocky!), absolutely turns my stomach. I was hoping this was a satire and that I was the only one not in the joke... but even if it was intended to be, no one would get that from it. For women, it implies, your worth is determined by whether you can properly pour coffee, or pick out a good cigar for a man, or know which jewels are the really good ones (so you can criticize the gifts you or other women get... from men, naturally). I'm pretty sure this film is the entire reason the Bechdel test came into existence. Simply atrocious... and two. full. hours. It's time you'll never get back. Worst. Best. Picture. Ever. Hands down.
A young woman enters maturity and falls for a family friend.
Home of the child molester's anthem, "Thank Heaven for Little Girls," Gigi is a superbly decorated, pastel-hued showcase of art direction and set design. The only problem is that they forgot the story. What suffices as a plot is merely the cliche of male pursuit with little in the way of commentary on social graces or sexual politics, and the characters are types, conforming to the cliche in every way imaginable.
Overall, pretty backgrounds do not make a good film by themselves.
I like the scene of Jourdan reconsidering at the fountain - done entirely in silhouette. It's a beautiful little dance.
I wonder what other movies might look like with Maurice Chevalier as the narrator. "Oh 'ello! Bonjour! Zis ees New York en 1970 et ziis ees my bon ami Travis!. Pauvre Travis..."
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