By chance the hubby stumbled on an old film, Lili, starring Leslie Caron and Mel Ferrer. The movie takes place in France and it revolves around a traveling carnival. Leslie Caron plays a naive waif, orphaned and stumbles upon a job quite accidentally with the brilliant puppet master played by Mel Ferrer. Their relationship is of course complicated, she is an innocent young girl unaware that she is so charming and Mel Ferrer plays the gruff slightly bitter jaded mentor. Love of course blossoms but it is really Leslie Caron’s performance that captured my attention. She is so natural and genuine in her role as an ingenue, you fall in love with her and you get easily annoyed by the persistent gruffness of Mel Ferrer towards her character.
I know that Audrey Hepburn was known for the gamine look but I find that Leslie Caron had her own indelible mark on the look as well. Her beautiful blue eyes that had a feline air to them and her little girl pout with those full lips, when she walked, she did it with the grace of a young ballerina.
I had seen Leslie Caron a million times as Gigi, but I seeing her as Lili really brought home how special she was as an actress, dancer and singer.