I’m a Hitchcock fan, so when a film historian hosted an Alfred Hitchcock film series at the library, I went. I had seen all the movies, but I enjoyed the lectures afterwards, with the little tidbits of behind the scenes gossip and film analysis.
The night we watched Vertigo, the professor (he teaches at a university) emphasized the absurdity of the Academy Award for Best Picture being awarded to Gigi that year. Vertigo was not nominated, but is today ranked 66 on the American Film Institute’s Top 100 Movies list. (Gigi is no where to be seen.)
There are things to be said in favor of Vertigo, but the one the professor chose was bizarre. He bashed Gigi as an example of a frothy but chauvinistic depiction of women as objects. There are a lot of valid arguments for Vertigo as a film, but feminism is not one of them. I was left thinking, “Did he see the same movies I saw?”
A conservative suit doesn’t make a woman strong, and a pretty dress doesn’t weaken her resolve. A makeover cannot change a person’s heart, their strength of character, or their lack thereof. Brooding doesn’t equal intelligence, and happiness isn’t shallow.
Holding on to who you are while you pursue your dreams can be difficult, but you won’t live Happily Ever After without it.