- Written & Directed by Laure Charpentier
- Marie Amélie Production
- 1 hour 42 minutes
- French with English subtitles
- Distributed by Breaking Glass Pictures
Shy Schoolgirl to Daring Dandy
With shades of Mädchen in Uniform
, Georgia (Lou Doillon) is deeply involved in a Sapphic situation with her school’s headmistress, Sybil. With her good final marks, Georgia has plans to attend medical school and become a psychiatrist.
Fast-forward a year and, in a series of flashbacks, we learn that Sybil has committed suicide and turned Georgia’s life upside down. Now, the former schoolgirl has become a butch dandy in Paris’ underworld sporting the moniker Gigola.
Not only is Gigola a habitué of Paris nightclubs, cafes, lesbian bars, strip joints and cabarets, she is a pimp and a prostitute both.
Scene from Gigola© Breaking Glass Pictures
Among the butches who hang out at Michou’s lesbian bar, it’s not unusual for the short-haired women in dark suits to dance with the girls in dresses, heels, long hair and fur wraps. But, when rich dowagers come into the club craving sex – and looking for love – and are willing to pay the handsome Gigola handsomely for her services, she is more than willing. Servicing the much-older Odette, Gigola lines her pockets with wads of cash, keys to a sports car and a diamond ring, among other riches.
A subplot involving intrigue around prostitution and weapons is somewhat nebulous, but nevertheless moves the action forward.
Interrupting Gigola’s fancy lifestyle in the Paris slums is her father, a no-good compulsive gambler and a losing one at that. He is as well as an opium addict who has cleaned out his wife’s jewelry collection and she must now sell their house to survive. The beautiful Marisa Berenson plays Solange, the solemn and pious white-haired Catholic wife to Henry; She takes him back and bails him out time and again. Gigola won’t give him even a single franc, even when he comes begging.
Paris in the Springtime
The backdrop of Paris in the 1960s in conjunction with French music circa the 1940s, ‘50s and '60s lends an extremely romantic and artistic yet gritty and grimy feel to the film. It’s sexy and seedy in the same glance.
Georgia (Lou Doillon) in Gigola© Breaking Glass Pictures
My Rating: 4 stars. The acting is excellent, the music divine, the cinematography, choreography and costuming all above average. I didn’t quite “get” the ending, which I will not spoil for you. However, there is plenty of realistic lesbian sex and dyke drama in the offing in this refreshing period piece.