By: Alex Phuong (A Toast) –
The Hollywood musical has been a beloved genre ever since the inception of cinema. Famous couples have teamed up to create some of the greatest moments ever captured on film, such as Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire. Vincente Minnelli was a very audacious director who wanted to create a musical masterpiece, and he did so in 1951 when An American in Paris won “Best Picture.” Indeed, this is one of the greatest musicals in cinematic history.
The triumphant winner of six Academy Awards, An American in Paris is essentially a beautiful love letter to dreamers wishing they were on the other side of the Atlantic. That is because of the famous notion that Europeans hope to pursue the “American Dream” while Americans fantasize about living glamorous lives in countries like England and France. Gene Kelly delivers one of his greatest performances, and his role in this film rivals other iconic performances that year, including Marlon Brando’s film debut as Stanley Kowalski in A Streetcar Named Desire. Leslie Caron excels as the female lead even though this was only her first film. Since this is a musical and a Minnelli film, it obviously features beautiful production design, outstanding cinematography, and gorgeous costumes. This film is definitely a sight to behold!
An American in Paris will always remain one of the greatest movie musicals of all time. Its legacy endures today because this film partially inspired Damien Chazelle to create La La Land even though his favorite movie is actually The Umbrellas of Cherbourg. The famous 17-minute ballet sequence is much like the equally famous Epilogue in La La Land. Coincidentally, both films won six Oscars even though La La Land infamously lost the “Best Picture” award to Moonlight (which included the shocking mix-up of the winners during the original Oscar telecast). Nevertheless, Vincente Minnelli is much like Damien Chazelle because of their devotion to the musical genre, and this film will definitely inspire anyone who enjoys cinema as a form of art.
An American in Paris (1951) Drinking Game
Take a Drink: every time Gene Kelly speaks French
Take a Drink: during every musical number
Enjoy Your Favorite Drink: during the epic 17-minute “dream ballet” of this musical masterpiece