La Vie en Rose (La Mome) Reviews

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Super Reviewer
January 13, 2012
La Vie en Rose needs more than one viewing to understand what the filmmakers are trying to say. I loved the way Olivier Dahan took Edith Piaf's life, and took it for what it was. Her life is a very depressing and sad story with happiness and relevant parts scattered throughout. Basically, the life of famed french singer Edith Piaf is life is like a scattered puzzle. Random pieces are found when we are looking for something else. The movie really tries to show the way she lived her life in the way they put the film together. It jumps back and forth, sometimes without giving timelines, she's old in one scene, and young in the next. While I was watching the film, I got very confused, and near the end of it's almost 2.5 hour running time, I felt like the film was starting to drag. Maybe that's partly because I didn't understand the film for what it was.

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.
Super Reviewer
December 24, 2011
Good lead performance in a very average bio pic.
Super Reviewer
August 7, 2011
La Vie En Rose is an incredible biopic on famed French singer Edith Piaf. Brilliantly acted and directed, Edith Piaf is wonderfully portrayed by actress Marion Cotillard who delivers the greatest performance of her career. La Vie En Rose is a phenomenal drama film, and it portrays the struggles and sadness of singer Edith Piaf perfectly. An incredible film that is brilliantly acted, directed and above all, told is captured on film. The result is a flawless film that depicts a sad individual. Edith Piaf led a turmoiled life, and every bit of it is brilliantly captured on film. The result is quite possibly the greatest biopic ever filmed. Marion Cotillard is the perfect choice to play Edith Piaf, and she really looks the part. I think she definitely deserved the Oscar for her performance. The rest of the cast do a terrific job as well, and each of them brings something truly wonderful to this already impressive work. La Vie En Rose is a phenomenal portrait of a singer who led a melancholic lifestyle. A superb film in every respect, La Vie En Rose is one of the essential biopics and not since Clint Eastwood's Bird has a picture been this vivid in showing the conflicted and troubled side of famed artist. This is a powerful film, and one that you won't easily forget. You'll come to understand Edith Piaf and her struggles, but you'll also admire her gifts. A beautiful and stunning film.
Super Reviewer
½ January 19, 2011
I watched this movie because of the lead actresss Academy Award. She turned in a tremendous performance. There are many good scenes, and it is helped immensely by the lead actress, Marion Cotillard, who gives an appropriately beautiful, ugly, bold and brave performance as the doomed singer. The singing is dubbed by the real Piaf recordings, and the lip-syncing is very well done. As someone that didnt know anything about the real life history of Edith Piaf, I found the movie somewhat disjointed - hopping around chronologically made it more of a challenge to understand events. But, all in all, a nice movie.
Super Reviewer
December 9, 2008
Marion Cotillard, who has proven herself in Big Fish, Nine, and Inception, won herself an Oscar for this, not only because she was true to form, but because she was true to herself.
Super Reviewer
May 24, 2009
I feel like this was the female, French version of Capote. Both drilling, hard biopics that were utterly and completely career defining for their leads. Brilliantly acted. Brilliant. It was confusing at points with the time line and were exactly we were in her life, but still the heart of the story was there. I've also got to give a serious nod to wardrobe and make up in this film, it was just done so beautifully.
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.
Super Reviewer
½ December 24, 2009
La Vie en Rose did two things for me:

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.
Super Reviewer
½ April 23, 2008
Overall a beautiful and moving film.

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.
Super Reviewer
½ March 15, 2009
Committed performance from Cotillard understandably caught the Academy's eye but the surrounding film was functional at best.
Super Reviewer
½ June 5, 2007
Directed by: Oliver Dahan.
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 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, 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.


<< "Americans want beauties, not me. I'm not the Parisian bombshell they expected. Can you see me as a chorus girl? Where's my feather up the ass? They think I'm sad, they're dumb. I don't connect to them." >>
Mr Awesome
Super Reviewer
½ December 30, 2008
2007 was a year of outstanding films, and the fact that "La Vie En Rose" didn't win "Best Picture" oscar is a testament to that fact. A great film is capable of placing you into a life previously unimagined; that's not to say legendary french singer Edith Piaf led an unfathomable life, it's just that I doubt anyone sitting around daydreaming of stories and adventures in all the world could possibly imagine a life exactly the same as the one which unfolds upon the screen here. It harkens back to the great film biographies of the 80s (Amadeus, Gandhi), but made with a modern filmmaker's daring (in particular, editing style). Piaf receives no glossy make-over here, the director does not flinch or back down from his subject matter, and what we get is a warts-and-all vision of Piaf. At this time, I must comment on the lead performance by Marion Cotillard. I never felt I was witnessing a performance so much as a life unfolding before me. It's only thinking about it now, after watching the movie, that i recognize what went into creating this role and just how physically demanding this role must've been. On a side note, I can think of few things as horrifying as being screamed at by a french woman in her native tongue. It is a life as a dark fairytale, a modern greek tragedy. It's not glamorous but it is glorious.
Super Reviewer
June 1, 2008
A mgnificent performance by Cotillard, but the movie itself was just above average. It skips around a lot, but doesn't hold back on telling Piaf's life the was it was...she enjoyed life and had her share of detractors. Not having ever been a huge fan of hers, I couldn't into this as much as I would've liked.
Super Reviewer
½ October 9, 2008
BOO-HOO! My life was shitty so I turned to needles and booze and that gives me a reason to be a total bitch, but that's okay, cause I could sing and thats why I should be celebrated. And another thing, why the fuck does every modern bio flick have to jump around, here's an original idea: start at the beginning of the subject's life and end with the end. And I liked Amelie just as much as the next guy, but does every French movie that comes out have to look like it to be successful. I appreciate Cotillard's performance, but I am still trying to figure out if that's because she looks a lot like Piaf.
Super Reviewer
February 10, 2008
I knew I would love it. I saw a couple of seconds of Marion Cotillard's performance at the last Oscar ceremony, but I didn't think that the hole movie would be that powerful.

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.
Super Reviewer
May 30, 2008
This film is extremely bleak and depressing, but very beautiful at the same time. After having watched this, I don't know if I really like Edith Piaf anymore, as the film shows her personal life-one that was largely shrouded in mystery and not well known to the public. She was a fascinating person, but the film really shows the tormented and at times largely unlikeable person that she was, and that's what makes the film bleak and depressing. There are very few moments of true happiness and joy throughout. When I said I wasn't sure if I liked her, that was not in regards to her music. Overall, this is a really well-done film, and Marion Cotillard is beyond superb in her much deserved Oscar winning turn as Edith.This film is not for all tastes, and mainly for lovers of French films, music, culture, but even then, and despite the bleakness, this is a magnificent piece of art. Besides being bleak, the only real criticism I have with the film is that it is overlong (by about 20 minutes or so), and much of it is not in chronological order, jumping back and forth between various stages of Edith's life and career. That does cause the story to be somewhat inconprehensible at times, but not enough to make the film unwatchable. If it weren't for that and the running time, I'd give it a higher rating, but due to the problems, it is worthy of no less than a 4.
Super Reviewer
½ September 14, 2007
Wow... what a life.
Super Reviewer
May 3, 2008
Excellent film that sheds light on the charisma of Edith Piaf. The biggest voice in recent pop music history coming from the feeble sparrow of Paris.

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.
Super Reviewer
½ June 5, 2007
Due to its non-linear style, the movie is a little confusing and since it focuses just on the character of Edith, it doesn't let you understand the other characters or who they are... The direction could have been better, but it wasn't bad... The photography and art direction are beautiful... The Oscar-winning makeup is great... Emmanuelle Seigner is really good in her brief role as "Titine", but the main reason to watch this, and it's one hell of a reason, is Marion Cotillard's perfect, Oscar-winning performance as Edith Piaf; all the time I was watching the film i kept thinking "This is something legendary", her acting is so good, she nailed the walk, the talk, the mannerisms, the flawless lip-synching, she deserved every gram of that Oscar!
Super Reviewer
½ July 29, 2007
Non, je ne regrette rien! Touching biopic about the tough life of singer Edith Piaf, who became the archetypal demanding celebrity. Nicely edited, with some memorable 40s period scenes of New York.
Super Reviewer
March 20, 2008
Marion Cotillard deserved her Oscar award. She gives off raw talent and audacity in this film and her performance will not be easily forgotten. Every scene in the film with her is like watching the real Edith Piaf onscreen. To be honest, I hardly knew Edith Piaf apart from that scene in Saving Private Ryan and I'm glad I saw this one.

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.
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