Critic Consensus: 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.
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as Aunt Alicia
as Charles the Butler
Critic Reviews for Gigi
With so many outstanding performances in the film, it is to Maurice Chevalier's great credit that he is able to steal the show.
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.
It's like a meal consisting of cheesecake, and one quickly longs for something solid and vulgar to weigh things down.
Audience Reviews for Gigi
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. fastfilmreviews.com
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.
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