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Gigi (PG*) + Introduction

Hidden Figures: Jacqueline Audry

two women talking in a dark room - one wearing a nightgown

Nearly a decade before the Hollywood musical, Jacqueline Audry offered a wittier and more faithful interpretation of Colette’s much-loved novella and delivered a box office smash.

In the first of her three films based on a book by Colette, Audry creates a comedy that can be enjoyed both as a light period romance and a shrewd take on the role of women and female sexuality in fin de siècle French society. Danièle Delorme offers a knowing take on the young heroine being groomed for high society by her grandmother (Yvonne de Bray) and great aunt (Gaby Morlay).

The women take centre stage, and all three actresses are superb. The film gives Gigi more agency than the musical remake and offers a feminist slant on the story. Audry beautifully recreates the Belle Époque, with charming scenes set around skating rinks and the then-new Eiffel Tower restaurant. Gigi was a huge hit in France, and led to renewed interest in Colette’s writings, solidifying the author’s national treasure status.

France 1949 Dir Jacqueline Audry 95 min

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