Oscars Best Picture 1958

For the ladies. When you’re feeling glum, watch an old romantic movie. It does wonders to the heart.

A MUST-SEE movie is Gigi, which snatched 9 Oscars in 1959. Gigi is an old American musical film from the 1950s written by the French writer Colette, which plays in fashionable Paris.

The first time I watched Gigi was 14 long years ago. I must say, the movie is still utterly delightful to watch as compared to the other old movies I’ve unearthed these past few weeks. The mundane trivialities of Parisian society and the outlandish flowery dialogue is enough to turn your head around from a stressful day.

And the soundtrack… Gawd! Amazing! Every time I hear “The Night They Invented Champagne“, I end up wishing for a glass of champagne. Every time I listen to “I’m Glad I’m Not Young Anymore“, I look forward to being old and gray. With “Thank Heaven For Little Girls“, I remember my days playing with dolls in the garden. The “Waltz at Maxim’s (She Is Not Thinking of Me)” is another splendid song you shouldn’t miss hearing.

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The plot of the movie is simple. It centers on Gigi, a free-spirited precocious child-woman who hails from a family of courtesans. To keep up with family tradition, Gigi is sent to Aunt Alicia by her Grandmama—Madame Alvarez, where she is painstakingly groomed to be a courtesan. Each week, Gigi would learn how to eat, sit and walk like Aunt Alicia. Gigi would end up baffled after each lesson.

Aunt Alicia teaches Gigi table manners.

Gaston and Honore Lachaille on a carriage ride.

During this time, Gaston Lachaille, finds himself restless and bored. Gaston finds the afternoon teas, the carriage rides to the park, the dinner parties at Maxim’s and the endless socials, nauseating. He escapes the monotony of upper Parisian society by visiting the past lady love of his Uncle Honore, Madame Alvarez, whom he fondly refers to as Mamita.

It is only Madame Alvarez and her precocious granddaughter who truly amuses him. One afternoon, he engages in a card game with Gigi and loses their bet. As a consequence, he brings Madame Alvarez and Gigi to Trouville, where Gigi sees the ocean for the first time.

Gigi and Gaston play a game of cards.

In Trouville, Gaston and Gigi have an amazing time together, which was noted by so many spectators. When they come back from their vacation, Aunt Alicia corners and pressures Madame Alvarez to prepare Gigi as Gaston’s courtesan, while he is away in Monte Carlo. Madame Alvarez agrees and Aunt Alicia’s lessons with Gigi goes on daily instead of once a week.

When Gaston returns from Monte Carlo, he is astounded to find Gigi no longer dressed as a child but as an attractive woman. He ridicules and insists her to change back to her usual school-girl outfit. Gigi takes offense and insults him back. Gaston leaves angrily and returns a little while later after realizing how ridiculous his reaction was.

Gaston insults Gigi in her new dress.

He sheepishly invites Gigi on a carriage ride and for dinner to atone for his earlier attitude. Madame Alvarez says no. She asks Gigi to leave the room and relays to Gaston that she needs to think of her granddaughter’s future. If he wanted to be seen with Gigi in public, he’d have to make Gigi his mistress and provide her granddaughter a life filled with luxurious comfort. Gaston gets angry at the idea and leaves their home.

While walking in the park, Gaston processes his emotions and tries to figure out why he is so angry. He realizes that he is inlove with Gigi. He goes back to Madame Alvarez to discuss the terms. They both finalize the deal. Madame Alvarez tells Gigi her fate.

Gaston and Gigi discuss the arrangement.

When Gaston and Gigi meet the next time around, Gigi is fully aware of the role she must play. She tells Gaston she doesn’t want to be a courtesan and does not want to be his mistress. She argues that Gaston would eventually get bored with her and that she had no desire to be handed down from one man to another. She asks Gaston if they could just continue being friends. Gaston tells her they couldn’t be the way they were before because he is inlove with her. She is horrified at the thought he loves yet is willing to subject her to an unstable and degrading life. Gigi leaves the room in tears and Gaston storms off. Later, Gigi asks Gaston to return to her home and tells him that she’d rather be miserable with him than without him.

"I'd rather be miserable with you, than without you."

That night, Gigi prepares herself for her formal debut as Gaston’s mistress. Gaston picks her up and is startled by her transformation. For the first time, he sees Gigi elegantly dressed and filled with so much confidence.He takes her to Maxim’s, where Gigi perfectly acts the part of a courtesan choosing his cigars and talking like one. After being confused and angry at seeing Gigi playing the role of a perfect mistress, Gaston drags her home. He leaves Gigi crying in Madame Alvarez’ arms but surprises her by returning to ask for her hand in marriage.

Definitely one for the books! This is what I call surprising at its finest. Who could have thought of packing iPads under chocolate. Truly impressive and inspiring.

@kerrching, smagdali is a McDreamy. You must be deliriously happy. It’s definitely going to be hard to top that.

iPad un(chocolate)boxing Right, this is the rebirth of my blogging. My first post in at least 5 years, with a new domain and a new title. Anyone who knows my wife, @kerrching, knows that she's a Apple nut. Also, with a June birthday, she has conveniently positioned herself perfectly for the Apple release cycle. An iPad was inevitable for her birthday, but I knew that if I just delivered a wrapped box, there wouldn't be much of a surprise. Where's the fun in that? So I ra … Read More

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