La Vie En Rose (La Mome) (12)

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The ViewBirmingham Review

StarStarStarStarStar
Review byMatthew Turner20/06/2007

Five out of Five stars
Running time: 140 mins

Superbly directed, thoroughly engaging and emotionally moving biopic with a sensational, Oscar-worthy performance from Marion Cotillard.

What's it all about?
Olivier Dahan's biopic of French singer Edith Piaf begins with the young Edith (played as a child by Manon Chevallier and Pauline Burlet) abandoned by her parents and raised by kindly prostitute Titine (Emmanuelle Seigner). As a teenager (now played by Marion Cotillard), Edith makes her living by singing on the streets with her best friend Momone (Sylvie Testud), until she gets her first big break when she's spotted by a music producer (Gerard Depardieu in a brief but memorable cameo).

Edith goes on to achieve international fame, but her success comes at a price, as her life is beset by tragedy, from her battles with illness and addiction to the devastating loss of the love of her life, the boxer Marcel Cerdan (Jean-Pierre Martins), in a plane crash in 1949.

The Good
The chronology of the film leaps around the years between 1918 and 1963, which requires the audience to pay close attention in order to fill in the gaps. However, this pays off beautifully in a spectacular, deeply emotional climactic scene, with Piaf on stage singing her signature hit, Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien.

Cotillard is simply sensational as Piaf and if she doesn't get at least an Oscar nomination then there is officially no justice. It's a phenomenal performance and you can't take your eyes off her, even when she's behaving abominably to everyone around her.

The Great
The production design is exceptionally good with rich cinematography and a terrific soundtrack (though, sadly, it's not Cotillard singing). There's also strong support from Sylvie Testud, whose exact relationship with Piaf is left tantalisingly undefined.

Worth seeing?
This is a beautifully directed, thoroughly engaging biopic about one of the twentieth century's most fascinating artists and Marion Cotillard's performance is nothing short of astonishing. One of the best films of the year. Highly recommended.

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La Vie En Rose (La Mome) (12)
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Content updated: 23/10/2017 14:26

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