La Vie en Rose (La Mome) Reviews
The cinematography, the sets, the art direction, and costumes were all very impressive. The music was wonderful and made me feel like I was in Paris. Edith Piaf's voice is just marvellous and I think it can connect with anyone no matter who they are. But I think the main reason this film is a must see is for no other reason than Marion Cotillard. I only have one word for that performance as Edith Piaf: Jaw-dropping. She simply becomes Piaf. I mean there is no Marion Cotillard in there, it's all Piaf. That performance is probably one of the best of the last decade. So overall, La Vie en Rose is an artsy, sad and depressing biopic on France's famed singer Edith Piaf with a simply mesmerizing performance from Marion Cotillard.
Lastly, I've got to give props to the world's most amazingly long dolly shot. It goes from 1:42:40 to 1:47. Ah mazing.
1. It made me interested in learning more about the life of Edith Piaf.
2. It made me finally accept that biopics like this are never going to be my thing.
The movie was fine, and I have no real criticisms about it beyond the fact that at times I was left wondering who a specific person was, or why a certain thing was happening. But that can probably be attributed to the language barrier and the fact that I knew absolutely nothing about Edith, prior to seeing this. But it was just very difficult for La Vie en Rose to hold my attention. The dramatized lives of Johnny Cash and Ray Charles didn't hold much interest for me, and neither did this.
I want to reiterate again that I think the movie itself was fine, I'm just scoring it based on my personal enjoyment of it. Anyone interested in Edith, French film and music, or biopics, may well love it. Even blind eyes could see that Marion Cotillard's portrayal of Edith was astonishing, so fans of hers will probably love this, as well. I just think that I need to abandon this genre, because it doesn't work for me.
I was far from an expert on Edith Piaf going into this film, but I do own a few of her CD's, have seen images of her and knew a bit about her tragic life. I have to say that Cotillard did a breath taking job at bringing Edith to life for this film and deserved every award that was given to her for the effort.
The acting (across the board is superb) and the music, costumes and set designs are brilliant.
I do feel that the editing left certain aspects of the story a little hard to follow at times. II'd be interested to know (from someone who is fluent in French) if they felt the same, as so often much can be lost in the translation process.
Starring: Marion Cotillard, Gérard Depardieu, Clotilde Courau.
"The most astonishing immersion of one performer into the body and soul of another ever encountered on film."
Those of you who have seen and reviewed the film, no doubt put this snippet of a review on there's, so don't mind me being a bit repetitive, but I have reason too. Sure, Marion Cotillard is masterful here (that word still doesn't cut it) and I'll cover that soon, but many don't also realize the brilliance of the film itself.
The story follows Edith Piaf, as you may already know. We are shown her troubled childhood, from her abandonment as a young girl to her life in the circus, to her instant success in her 20's. From there, not only did she have her ups and downs with her career, she had her problems with alcohol and drugs, her battle with rheumatism and her deal with love, all leading to her early death.
Oliver Dahan deserves a round of applause. Not only has he created a respectable biography underneath a masterful performance, he has created a technically outstanding film. His screenplay does suffer a little from being a little too short and cutting past some small aspects of Edith's life, but it is otherwise full of a brilliant understanding of this mysterious women and done with such emotion and depth. His direction is impeccable, he chooses some wise shots and the perfect camera styles and setups for each emotion being radiated off the screen...and with some of the very best editing I have seen in years, there are many key montages and shots that blend together so well with such respect and meaning (the sequence of Edith's loss and then suddenly walking onto stage to sing), if you don't notice these, then you are missing out.
The soundtrack couldn't be done any other way. I half expected a top composer to come in and create his own score for the film but it would have not worked. The score consists of Edith Piaf and that's it...and with the perfect placement and the right songs for many key scenes, it really adds the emotion and intensity to the film that the songs hold already by themselves.
The performances...first, to be nice, all of the smaller performances by many spanning over the decades of the film are great, with not a bad egg in amongst them all, they are all outshone and slightly forgotten. Marion Cotillard has done brilliance beyond imagination. I could certainly be clichéd and say that she deserves the Oscar, which she is bound to win, but its more than that. This performance deserves a whole new category...at the end of the day, it isn't acting...its channeling. From the cute shyness of her early years, to her emotional struggles in her 30's, to her quirkiness in her late years, Marion Cotillard IS Edith Piaf. From her look over the decades, to her movements, right down to the persona of the role, Marion is brilliant, outstanding, masterful...no words of mine can sum it up. 'Hall of Fame' really does call her name.
At a solid 140 minute running time, La Vie En Rose could have been a lot to take in, but with the brilliant structure, the outstanding editing, the respectable, thoughtful and technically brilliant direction...and the best performance in decades, La Vie En Rose is an engrossing, respectful and truly is the perfect Edith Piaf biography. Up there with some of the best films of the year.
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Yes Marion Cotillard will go down in history, but the movie must get some credit too. Pretty perfect in its genre, be ready to get every possible emotion.
Oliver Dahan's stylized camerawork and fantastic use of light and color set La Mome apart from being just a conventional biopic. There isn't much plain about the film; perhaps only the story telling itself could have been more original, but he never fails to capture Edith's bizarre reality.
Still, everything good and bad gets buried underneath Marion Cotillard's unbelievable portrayal of Piaf. Acting that will go down in history.
She was a woman with an astounding vocal prowess and a big heart and she is trapped in a sickly body.
The story was great. The acting, lighting, sounds, cinematography, directing, editing. Everything in it is great but the greatest thing in this film is Marion Cotillard. Nobody could have portrayed Edith Piaf like her. I hope to see more of her performances in the future. 4 stars.