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.
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.
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.
While Sfar doesn't dare tinker with the facts or sully the mystique, he gains enormous traction via the imaginative and subversive manner he has devised to tell a story that, in many ways, is hard to believe.
Unconventional, imaginative, nothing if not audacious, "Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life" is a portrait of creativity from the inside, a serious yet playful attempt to find an artistic way to tell an emotional truth.