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La Vie en Rose-Movie Review 08/04/2010

Posted by Films to consider in Based on true story, Biographical, Drama, French language film, Movies, Musical.

La Vie en Rose (French) 2007

Among other awards and nominations:
Winner, Best Actress (Cotillard), Academy Awards
Winner, Best Actress (Cotillard), Musical, Golden Globes

Directed by Olivier Dahan
Starring Marion Cotillard, who also stars in the 2010 film Inception with Leonardo DiCaprio.

Based on the troubled life of Edith Piaf, a French singer popular during the 1940s and 50s. Piaf’s voice and style of singing is full of emotion and immediately recognizable.

Most of the accolades about this film center around the performance by Marion Cotillard, specifically her immersion into the role of Piaf, as Cotillard transformed herself into the singer’s emotional and, it almost seems, physical presence. Those accolades are well deserved, but I found myself reacting to her portrayal of Piaf with mixed (ultimately positive) feelings.

There are apparently many versions of Piaf’s life story. The diminutive (4′ 8″) singer, who was known as the “little sparrow,” had a terrible young life, growing up mostly on the streets of Paris in dismal circumstances. She certainly made the best out of the gift of her powerful voice, overcoming various physical ailments as well. As her fame grew, however, Piaf was shown displaying the mercurial temperament of “une artiste,” and she lost my sympathy for a time. But as soon as another of her moving songs was included, I forgot about her outbursts and simply enjoyed.

140 min. Rated PG-13.



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