Tuesday, 22 November 2011

An American In Paris

An American In Paris, 1951
Directed by Vincente Minnelli
Nominated for 8 Academy Awards, Won 6.

Synopsis: Jerry Mulligan is a struggling American painter, living in Paris after being a soldier in WWII. He gets discovered on the streets by a rich young woman, who decides to sponsor him, and get him set up with exhibitions and meet important people to become successful. But she's got more on her mind that Jerry's art. At the same time, Jerry has swooned for a French girl named Lise, who is already engaged to an acquiantence of Jerry's, though neither of them know this- yet. But, as we all know, it's going to happen eventually, and the situation will be quite comical indeed.

I watched the movie Singin' In The Rain for the first time about a month and a half ago, and absolutely adored it. The tap dancing, laughing hysterically at Donald O'Connor's antics, and may or may not have been swooning over Gene Kelly. SInce then, I've watched it once or twice more, and still love it. So naturally, when I was looking over the list of Oscar Winning Pictures, and looked into what An American In Paris was about, I was excited to see it was a musical- and Gene Kelly was in it!

I quickly made a reservation at the library for it (along with a couple others) and was eager to watch it. I snuggled into bed and watched this movie on a rainy night with my mother, glad for someone to watch a movie with, because I find I can hardly ever sit through a movie by myself. But I digress.

The story itself, unfolded quite nicely and quickly (though not too quickly). We are introduced to the three main men quite quickly. Jerry Mulligan, Adam Cook (Jerry's friend, another American in Paris) and Adam Cook's good friend Henri Baurel, a cabaret singer, and Lise's boyfriend/fiance. Not ten minutes later, have we met the two main women; Milo Roberts, the rich young woman who takes a liking to more than just Jerry's painting, and Lise Bouvier, the young dancer who works at a perfume shop, and is with Henri.

The situation quickly sets itself up. We open on the film with Henri telling Adam Cook about this woman he is in love with. We learn about Lise, without realizing she is to be a main player in the film. Then we see Jerry and Lise encounter each other for the first time at a smoky nightclub.restaurant. Jerry is instantly drawn to Lise, while he is out with Milo and some friends shortly after Milo and Jerry meet when she purchases 2 of Jerry's paintings. Lise is resistant, but Jerry is persistant, while Milo is still vying for his attention.

I quite enjoyed this film. It was a light-hearted romantic-musical-comedy, with some brilliant situational irony (you can just imagine what is happening at this point), dance numbers and okay songs. While I didn't think the music was mighty fantastic, I thought Gene Kelly was great. He was really convincing as a poor painter, and played obvious, adamant, and happy-go-lucky lover, so well.

Newcomer Leslie Caron (Lise) was also really good. While I didn't much care for her character, she's an extremely, extremely talented dancer, if nothing else. She really holds her own next to Kelly (I'm just biased because I love tap dancing, though I can't do it myself) and the 17-minute long finale was really quite something. She's a very very talented woman.

While I enjoyed this movie, I didn't love it. I thought the dancing was great, the music was so-so, Gene Kelly looked great, and the storyline was pretty good. While I enjoyed it, I know there are several other musicals that didn't win Best Picture I liked much better, though it was decent, and cute.

Acting- 8.5/10 
Directing- 8/10 
Screenplay- 7.5/10 
Visuals- 9/10 
Music- 9/10 
Emotional Connection- 7/10 
Entertainment- 7/10 
Rewatchability- 7/10 
Overall Enjoyment- 7.5/10 
Overall Package- 7/10       

Total: 77.5/100

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