Monday, April 11, 2011

¡Viva Maria!

Musique - Les Petites Femmes by Jeanne Moreau and Brigitte Bardot
I watched Viva Maria! this weekend for the first time and absolutely loved it!  I am a fan of Jeanne Moreau, but I'd never seen a Brigitte Bardot movie before (I know, I know).  In all honesty, I wasn't expecting much from her except being incredibly beautiful.  But she is definitely a talented actress and comedienne.

Brigitte Bardot plays a girl named Maria, of Irish and French descent.  She was raised to hate and distrust the English.  She and her father bombed many an English bridge and building - not to mention Englishmen.  After her father dies in South America, she joins up with a traveling show and meets Jeanne Moreau's character.

Jeanne Moreau plays a girl also named Maria, who is one half of a singing and dancing act in the traveling show.  Her partner kills herself and so Bardot's Maria joins up and the act is now called Maria et Maria.

During their first show, Bardot's Maria accidentally tears her skirt, so they improvise and turn it into a striptease act.  This they perfect and perform all over South America to very receptive crowds.

In the town of San Miguel, they meet the radical Flores (a very dashing George Hamilton) and Moreau's Maria falls in love.  Flores and the entire traveling show are taken prisoners by Rodríguez, a supporter of San Miguel's dictator.  However, they all escape, Flores getting shot in the process.  As he is dying he has Maria promise that she will carry on his cause.

Moreau's Maria then incites the villagers to take up arms against the dictator and leads them to victory.  Bardot's Maria being the one skilled with weapons, is the driving force behind their win.

This was a hilarious movie that reminded me somewhat of The Three Amigos, only in French and with much sexier leads.  The song being sung over the back story of Bardot's Maria and her father blowing things up made me seriously laugh out loud ("What's that she has in her mouth?").  And in the scene where Moreau's Maria is riling up the villagers, I loved how the magician, Diogène, says "This is her big scene."  I love it when movies are both overtly and subtly funny.  And watching Brigitte Bardot man a machine gun is pretty damn funny.  I'll definitely be putting this movie on my Amazon Wish List!

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