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NEW La Vie En Rose (DVD)
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Edith Piaf is the subject of "La Vie en Rose", director Olivier Dahan's powerful if emotionally redundant biographical film about the iconic French superstar whose life, as depicted here, seems to have been a numbing succession of tragedies interrupted on occasion by artistic triumph. Dahan's portrait begins with Piaf's stay in a brothel as a young girl. Left to the care of her grandmother (who runs the place) after her father pulls her away from a narcissistic mother, Piaf undergoes significant health problems and grows up to sing on the street in lieu of outright prostitution. The film pulses along with the usual biopic rhythms, with pivotal moments in the life of Piaf (played as an adult by Marion Cotillard) turning up regularly only to be smacked aside by the unseen hand of perpetual misfortune. There's the impresario (Gerard Depardieu) who recognizes Piaf's great but raw talent only to have a run-in with the criminal element around her. There's the heavyweight fighter (Marcel Cerdan) who becomes the love of Piaf's life but can't be with her. Drug addiction, random car accidents, tax problems, you name it, it's all here, topped by an unnerving revelation that pops up in "La Vie en Rose"'s final moments. After awhile, with such a concentration of bad news squeezed into 140 minutes, one begins to wish Dahan had taken a more expansive approach to Piaf's life and times. But the film is never less than interesting, and the lead performance by Cotillard is often astonishing. "--Tom Keogh"
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Top Customer Reviews
If you are one of Piaf's fans, I'm certain that you will like this movie, because it depicts strikingly several moments of her tragic and turbulent life. It is impossible to denny that Marion Cotillard was the right choice to play the main character, as she is simply splendid as Edith Piaf, so good in fact that she tends to make us forget that Piaf is not longer alive.
In case you don't have the faintest idea of who Edith Piaf was, don't worry, this movie is an excellent starting point to learn about her. Of course, no film can be totally objective, but by the end of "La vie en rose" you will know some details about Piaf's life, and will have heard some of her wonderful songs.
All in all, I believe that this is a film that is powerful and worth watching, despite the fact that it is rather gut-wrenching sometimes. Recommended...
PS: The songs you will hear in this film are sang by Edith Piaf (Cotillard does lip-synching). My favourite song is "Je ne regrette rien"...
Short Attention Span Summary (SASS):
1. Little Edith has a hard knock life with her mother, and eventually is "rescued" by her father, and taken to live with her grandmother
2. Grandma's girls (and clients) call her "Madame"
3. She is taken under the wing of Titine, one of the girls, and learns about song and prayer
4. Dad returns and decides that he will be the stable influence in her life
5. ... so he raises her in a circus where he's a contortionist
6. Soon she's singing for her supper and hitting the bottle
7. ...and the needle
8. ... and continues to do so, stubborn as a mule, ruining her health
9. ... while singing her heart out
From the streets to the brothel, from the circus to the streets, from the streets to the clubs, through bad patches and bubbly heights, culminating in a passionate love affair and the inevitable decline, the viewer will love, hate and pity the temperamental singer, though not necessarily in that order.
Although not my type of music, and given that I normally shy away from long dramatic movies, there's no escaping the fact that Marion Cotillard gives an absolutely magnificent performance. The supporting actors, the settings and the cinematography make this a memorable watching experience.
This is not a movie to brighten your day, lift your spirits or make your heart soar, but if you asked me if I regret watching it, I'd have to say "Non, je ne regrette rien".
The performance of Marion Cotillard was brilliant and the Oscar for best actress was well deserved. She truly lived into the role and portrayed well the life of a tormented soul.
You will enjoy this film from beginnnig to end. Whether you know Piaf or not, this movie will get to you. Her songs reflects her life as well as her hoarse and melancholic voice.
Of course, understanding french is a plus. I haven't seen the english version though, it must ruin the magic of it...like any translation unfortunatly.
And as for Ms Marion Cotillard's Piaf performance, I must say she blew me away. I have seen her in her previous movies but this I must agree with Stephen Holden from The New York Times who wrote:
"The most astonishing immersion of one performer into the body and soul of another ever encountered on film."
P.S. If you hesitate on watching this film, do yourself a favor and see it for Ms Cotillard's performence...trust me, it'll be for your own good hehehe!
Most recent customer reviews
A thoroughly enjoyable movie. I am so glad I ordered it. Bought it for the music and glad I got the movie rather than the CD.Published 6 months ago by r
Absolutely love this movie. It was painful to watch at times what Piaf went through in her life. It is based on a true story.Published 12 months ago by J. Jaros
I can't help but watch this movie over and over again; (partly because it has subtitles) but mostly because, if you know anything about Edith Piaf and her internationally famous... Read morePublished 18 months ago by Sherry
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