Epic Film Quest: ‘Gigi’ and (ugh) France

Poster - Gigi_01If a friend or reader was going to try to follow my footsteps in the trek to watch every single Best Picture winner in the history of forever, I would probably advise that they sell their TV, slap themselves in the face, and run away from home. Regardless, this blogger is trudging forward and probably isn’t any better for it.

The latest Best Picture winner I watched: Gigi, the winner from 1958. The film is set in turn-of-the-century Paris, France as a young girl, Gigi, is trying to find her bearings among high society. She’s sent to her Great Aunt’s swank pad to learn etiquette and charm, so that she can eventually marry a rich man and be his arm candy. Gigi starts keeping the company of a family friend (token rich guy) Gaston and YOU’LL NEVER GUESS WHAT HAPPENS NEXT, OMG!

Despite the life that Leslie Caron brought to the role of Gigi, I’m indifferent to the film. I didn’t love it, but I didn’t hate it. And these are the worst movies to write about! Because nothing is more fun than ripping apart a movie you loathe (Out of Africa) or raving about one you loved (All About Eve), but these middle-of-the-road-types? Meh.  I will say, though, that Gigi is a musical and every single song is entirely forgettable. So there’s that. What else? Oh, yeah. FRANCE, UGH.

There are two themes/settings I struggle with in film – one is period pieces, and the second, France. Which isn’t to say that I despise all period pieces – I don’t. But something about France rubs me the wrong way, even in film. Maybe this feeling stems from going there and it sucking. I fully intend on never visiting France ever again. Sure, I’m glad I’ve been to the Louvre and saw the Eiffel Tower and yada, yada, yada, tourism stuff, but there is absolutely no reason to return. Because Italy. If you love being treated like garbage because you don’t speak French and are in a strange city, you should totally check it out. It sucks when stereotypes become reality, and I won’t generalize here, but the French people that I personally encountered for that week of my life were less than friendly. (The few late night strolls and boat rides we did around the city were pretty amazing though.)

Sorry for that aside. It’s just that there is nothing even remotely interesting about Gigi to discuss except that the music sucked…and so does France.

Grade: C-

Almost every movie I have left on my quest is at least seven hours long. Things are about to get bumpy. If there’s a REALLY GOOD Best Pic winner that I haven’t covered yet, please send me your recommendations. I could really use an upper right about now, chased with a nice tall glass of motivation.

Next up: Gandhi and The Deer Hunter

6 thoughts on “Epic Film Quest: ‘Gigi’ and (ugh) France

  1. I speak of facts from my own personal experience. I am sure that nice French people exist and I just didn’t meet them?

  2. Ghandi: Very Long and Very Good!
    Deer Hunter: So Fucking Sad. You will want to change everything that happens in this movie, but you cannot. Michael Cimino of course went on to direct the critical and financial disaster, “Heaven’s Gate,” which bankrupted a studio and ruined the careers of everyone invovled with it.

  3. Gail – Watched The Deer Hunter (will post about it soon) and you’re right. Christopher Walken was TOP NOTCH.

    And I read about Heaven’s Gate after finishing Deer Hunter! Crazy! Apparently he has a habit of going over-budget and over-schedule….which he ALSO did on Deer Hunter (but I guess the Oscars he won made that OK?) haha

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