Film Review: La Vie en Rose

25 Jun

Plot: From the slums of Paris to the limelight of New York, Edith Piaf’s (Marion Cotillard) life was a battle to sing and survive, live and love. Raised in poverty, Edith’s magical voice and her passionate romances and friendships with the greatest names of the period–Yves Montand, Jean Cocteau, Charles Aznavour, Marlene Dietrich, Marcel Cerdan and others–made her a star all around the world. But in her audacious attempt to tame her tragic destiny, the Little Sparrow–her nickname–flew so high she could not fail to burn her wings.

I have seen quite a few biopics that although I quite enjoyed, none of them really made a connection to me personally or affected me deeply. However, this can not be said with La Vie en Rose as I have long been a fan of this French chanteuse and was really keen to find out more about her life and loves.

From the start of the film we can see what a deprived childhood Piaf had in terms of familial love, having been abandoned by her mother, and with her father being on the road for a living, has left her in the care of his mother who owns a brothel in Normandy where the young Piaf was dotingly looked after. Piaf’s mother was a singer and that’s probably where she inherited her voice and later become a chance discovery when her father’s acrobatic stunts failed to impress the onlookers in a local town and the crowd asked whether the young girl could do something, and so she started singing and wowed the crowd.

From here we see Piaf plying the streets of Paris with her friend singing and getting beggar’s money until she was discovered by Louis Leplee, wonderfully played by Gerard Depardieu who gave her the breaks in the business. We see a lot of flashbacks to Piaf’s childhood and her becoming the biggest star in Paris, doing shows in New York and meeting the likes of Marlene Dietrich, Yves Montand.

Apart from being an Edith Piaf fan,  another main reason for you to want to watch this film is because of Marion Cotillard who was just superb and spectacular playing the adult Piaf. This is an award winning performance and should she get any, it is very well deserved. I have only seen Cotillard once, in Ridley Scott’s A Good Year opposite Russell Crowe so I was really impressed and totally bowled over with her performance here. Her swan song Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien (No Regrets) perfectly captured her illustrious but oftentimes tragic life and was a fitting end to the film and Piaf’s life.

La Vie en Rose: 4/5

Marion Cotillard as Edith Piaf

The real Edith Piaf

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One Response to “Film Review: La Vie en Rose”

  1. Simone December 11, 2007 at 11:10 pm #

    Just found out from Filmstalker that Cotillard has been nominated for Best Actress in the Critics Choice Awards!

    Marvelleiux!

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