- Format: NTSC
- Language: English
- Region: All RegionsAll Regions
- Number of discs: 1
- MPAA Rating:
- Average Customer Review: 30 customer reviews
- ASIN: B009NUHP24
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #26,917 in Movies & TV Shows (See Top 100 in Movies & TV Shows)
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Orphan Lili Daurier joins a carnival and falls under the spell of its star a suave magician. But it is the show's crippled embittered puppeteer who truly loves Lili a love he can express only through his puppets. "It is not often that the word 'enchanting' can accurately be applied to a musical" Clive Hirschhorn wrote in The Hollywood Musical "but it was the best way to describe Lili as well as Leslie Caron's genuinely touching performance." Nominated for six Academy Awards-« Lili offers sentiment without sugar simplicity without banality and a lyrical heart that beats to an Oscar-«-winning Bronislau Kaper score highlighted by Hi-Lili Hi-Lo and an imaginative sequence of Caron dancing with her beloved puppets come to life. Mel Ferrer Jean Pierre Aumont Zsa Zsa Gabor Amanda Blake and Kurt Kasznar also star.
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An orphan, Lili joins up with a traveling circus. She's helplessly naive, but with the family-like troupe and the puppets in her carnival act, she blossoms into a poised, lovely creature. The puppets themselves are quite interesting and significant - see how they resemble the live characters. In the midst of all this, the only clouds in her sky are her boss (the brooding puppeteer, Berthalet, played to perfection by the sexy Mel Ferrer) and her unattainable crush (the vainglorious Marcus the Magnificent). Her coming-of-age is the main plot, made both satisfying and achingly real.
Leslie Caron pulls off the role admirably. Lili is endearingly sweet, without going over the top. Caron draws you in before you even know you've been charmed off your feet. Lili loves and hates so simply until she learns better, and then you see her mature realistically. It's rings inexplicably true. The two dance sequences showcase Caron's extensive ballet skills without becoming huge productions that halt the story's progress. In fact, they actually carry the story further - something not all musical pieces accomplish if you think about it. The fantasy one is marvelous in revealing Lili's alter-ego - she's sexy and confident, and ultimately, not Lili. The last is particularly moving as both participants come together emotionally. Caron's face and feet act as much as the rest of her put together - a good thing, as her English is rather accented.
Most of the movie is sort of dreamy and surreal. The brief "real-life" location scenes look real, while the rest has the-painted-backdrop feel with clearly fake sets and props. This actually doesn't detract from the movie or the story, since they are not actually terribly relevant. The characters hold center stage. A feel-good movie if you just want to be entertained, a thought-provoking movie if you want to be engaged.
See also Paul Gallico's Love of Seven Dolls, the novella this movie and the musical, Carnival, were based upon. (A warning, the book explores the darker side of the story, but also worthwhile for mature readers.)
I fall in love with the character Lili. And I relate so much to this puppeteer who is bitter because he wants something better. He wants to fall in love with this sweet girl, dance again and just be happy. You're damn right if you think I got emotional while watching it. I miss working with genuinely nice and sincere people. Last week I had a shouting match with the "new guy" at my work. This guy is an arrogant you-know-what. I'm like the puppeteer and do a few things very well that nobody else at my work can do (it's why I still have a job there). This guy is a jack of all trades who compensates by doing a little of everything. He's of the mind that "we can do without you". Funny, he's been there for months and me 8 years but he still thinks he's going to swing getting rid of me. Cuttthroats? Yep. But watching Lili was exactly what I needed to do this morning. I'm like that puppeteer. I want the girl and to be happy. I hope others find this movie so warm like I did this morning. Oh, I am looking elsewhere for work...heh heh...but still Lili has me feeling much happier that I did last week.
If this film was done in widescreen (the early 1950s was when that started...to counteract Lucy and etc on the TV) let's have a good DVD treatment. In addition to being pure magic, this movie is therapy!
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Leslie Caron was perfect in the role of Lili.Read more