Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life Reviews

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Ginette Vincendeau
Sight and Sound
June 18, 2012
In conjoining Jewish heritage and classic French chanson, Gainsbourg celebrates the hybridity of contemporary French culture, while its combination of realist narrative and poetic animation make it both a touching biopic and an inspired musical.
James Plath
Movie Metropolis
March 17, 2012
I love it when a film surprises me, and "Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life" won me over in the very beginning and held me for the full 122 minutes because of its quirky passion and intelligence.
Full Review | Original Score: 8/10
Top Critic
Joe Williams
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
December 9, 2011
It's a comic-strip version of one man's life and times, but it's tres cool.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Beth Accomando
KPBS.org
November 18, 2011
A cartoonist who created a graphic novel about Gainsbourg's life and who has now adapted it to the screen. The result is a film that's as playful as its subject matter although not nearly as provocative or complex.
Jeffrey M. Anderson
Combustible Celluloid
November 18, 2011
Overall, the film makes a common mistake: it tells what happened to Gainsbourg, but not who he really was.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Trevor Johnston
Time Out
November 16, 2011
While the movie's on a roll, it's zesty, engaging and frisky.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
November 10, 2011
In short, Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life is a charmer.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Ken Hanke
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
November 10, 2011
Very nearly as inventive and fascinating as it is frustrating.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Andrea Gronvall
Chicago Reader
November 4, 2011
French pop star Serge Gainsbourg was as much iconoclast as icon, so it's fitting that this fanciful biopic is both affectionate and irreverent.
Marc Savlov
Austin Chronicle
November 4, 2011
Sfar, perhaps understandably, adores the legend of Serge Gainsbourg too much to make the whole nicotine-infused picture anything greater than what it is.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
Kelly Vance
East Bay Express
October 28, 2011
Whatever its faults, it's better than Nine.
Top Critic
Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
October 27, 2011
Alas, "Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life" loses steam and grows more perfunctory as it wears on.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
October 27, 2011
It's the story of a genius with no moral sense and no interests beyond sensuality. The catchy, insinuating music can only carry you so far.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
October 27, 2011
For better and for worse, Sfar's a fan, and his movie is a busy love letter to Gainsbourg that skates along the surface of the legend.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
October 27, 2011
Why was Gainsbourg a hero? The film leaves the question hanging. I am afraid it was only because, like Sinatra, he did it his way. Which no one can deny.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Betsy Sherman
Boston Phoenix
October 25, 2011
Elmosnino gives a deft and moving performance as the insecure piano player who reinvents himself as Gainsbourg, pop poet and improbable ladies' man, impelled to break taboos not only out of anger, but also to affirm his own existence.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Michael O'Sullivan
Washington Post
October 14, 2011
A viewer who comes into "Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life" knowing nothing about Serge Gainsbourg will not come out the other side especially enlightened about the late French-Jewish singer-songwriter's life, least of all why it is heroic.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Staci Layne Wilson
StaciWilson.com
September 16, 2011
As a musical mischief maker who exuded endless existential ennui, Serge's complexity is just too ungainly for any one biopic - but G:AHL is great starter kit.
Liz Braun
Jam! Movies
September 16, 2011
Gainsbourg is a noble attempt and interesting enough to keep you watching, but it's bound to disappoint fans of the singer's and possibly will confuse any newcomer to the story.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Stephen Cole
Globe and Mail
September 16, 2011
Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life accepts its subject on his own terms. And the compromise feels like capitulation before its hero's last record spins to a close.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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