365 High-Def Days of Oscar: Day 22

Year: 1958

Oscar Wins:

Best Picture

Best Director

Best Editing

Best Cinematography (Color)

Best Original Score

Best Costume Design

Best Art Direction

Best Original Song

Best Adapted Screenplay


Weary of the conventions of Parisian society, a rich playboy and a youthful courtesan-in-training enjoy a platonic friendship, but it may not stay platonic for long.


“Gigi” opens on Gaston Lachaille (Louis Jordan) is a very eligible bachelor who is bored with the Parisian social scene. Gaston bounces from woman to woman, as he tries to find the right fit. Then, there’s the young Gigi (Leslie Caron). She’s from a family of women that have served as mistresses to the upper class. Her mother was an opera singer who never made it big. While her mother is struggling to make her dream happen, Gigi is sent to be raised by Madame Alvarez (Hermione Gingold).

Gaston comes to contact with Gigi, but never long enough to leave a lasting impression. So, he turns to his mentor Honore (Maurice Chevalier) to learn how to woo his potential lady love. Honore serves no purpose but to narrate the events of the flick for the people who’re already starting to nod off in the back of the theater. The musical numbers usually come from Honore, as he thinks his deity for the arrival of little girls. No, it’s not an anthem for pedophiles, but just the hearty song of an old man lusting for young ass. Little is really referenced in terms of Gigi’s familial history. It’s assumed that her family is a collection of women who train the next generation in how to properly service men. Gigi’s life is divided into two paths. Either she can get married to Gaston and live in the upper class. Or, she can become a high price prostitute like her mother and the rest of her female ancestry.

It’s not the greatest of lives, but what else is a young French girl going to do in the Victorian era? She’s going to fall in love with a wealthy older man, while a creepy older guy lusts after her. Hell, I would’ve loved to seen the flick entirely from Honore’s perspective. We can clearly tell from his screen time that a lifetime of loose women and booze has left him a syphilis ridden/half crazed bastard. Perhaps this flick wasn’t so much a musical, but a condemnation of the uptight sexuality of the time.

The Blu-Ray comes with a commentary, documentary and classic shorts and animation to recreate what it was like to have seen the film in its original 1958 Cinemascope exhibition. Throw onto that a trailer and a freshly remastered 1080p transfer for quite the experience. If that’s not enough, you also get a Dolby TrueHD track that sets the stage with uncompressed 5.1 audio. It’s quite the feat and it helps to make the film show off among modern musicals. In the end, I’d recommend a purchase.


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