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My Life to Live (It's My Life) (Vivre sa vie: Film en douze tableaux)

My Life to Live (It's My Life) (Vivre sa vie: Film en douze tableaux) (1962)

tomatometer

89

Average Rating: 7.5/10
Critic Reviews: 9
Fresh: 8 | Rotten: 1

No consensus yet.

audience

92

liked it
Average Rating: 4.2/5
User Ratings: 7,179

My Rating

Movie Info

Vivre Sa Vie presents 12 episodes in the life of a young woman who turns to prostitution to pay her rent. Each episode features a theatrical scene preceded by a title that lists the characters in the episode, its location, and a brief summary of the action. As he would throughout his career, director Jean-Luc Godard uses prostitution as a metaphor for both economic life in general and the position of the filmmaker under capitalism. Vivre Sa Vie stars Anna Karina, who was married to Godard at the

Unrated,

Art House & International, Drama

Jean-Luc Godard

Aug 11, 1998

Union Film Distributors Inc.

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All Critics (30) | Top Critics (10) | Fresh (26) | Rotten (2) | DVD (8)

Godard frames and edits his shots, moves the camera, uses music, and deploys his actors in ways that still seem radical -- even as several generations of directors since have cribbed and stolen from him.

November 13, 2008 Full Review Source: Philadelphia Inquirer
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Godard mixes titles, unusual use of sound, and long scenes of dialog. He is brilliantly served by his wife, Anna Karina, in this film. Karina gives the girl a ring of truth and depth.

August 11, 2008 Full Review Source: Variety
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Jean-Luc Godard's fourth film is a heartfelt, headstrong attempt to push his own concept of a deconstructed cinema even further into the stratosphere.

May 29, 2008 Full Review Source: Time Out New York
Time Out New York
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Star Anna Karina was in the brutal early rounds of marriage to her director, who was never more doting and egghead-condescending than in this showpiece.

May 27, 2008 Full Review Source: Village Voice
Village Voice
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This 1962 film isn't the most stimulating of Godard's early work, but it does show him beginning to pull away from traditional cutting patterns and sequence arrangement.

October 24, 2007 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Twelve Brechtian tableaux chronicle the life and death of a whore, starting out as a documentary on prostitution, ending as a Monogram B movie.

January 26, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

To Live Her Life is, to this very early point in his career, Godard's crowning achievement.

July 12, 2011 Full Review Source: Cinemania

truly exhilarating

August 21, 2010 Full Review Source: Cinema Writer
Cinema Writer

Godard's ode to a hooker remains a bleak, sexy and heartbreaking work of art

August 12, 2010 Full Review Source: Metro Times (Detroit, MI)
Metro Times (Detroit, MI)

A fine example of Godard's experimental affronts to cinematic conventions, his exploration of the human condition, and his concern for social issues. [Blu-ray]

May 31, 2010 Full Review Source: Groucho Reviews
Groucho Reviews

contains the best of Godard, both the intellectual and the emotional

May 6, 2010 Full Review Source: Q Network Film Desk
Q Network Film Desk

If we were to reduce all of world cinema to just a dozen images, Karina's perfect, pensive face would have to be among them.

May 1, 2010 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis
Movie Metropolis

On the one hand it's a provocative portrait of social and sexual politics... on the other a moralistic tale of a shallow, emotionally reckless young woman...

April 18, 2010 Full Review Source: Seanax.com
Seanax.com

Jean Luc-Godard's third feature fuses trademark stylistic playfulness with a stark portrait of the dehumanising nature of capitalist society.

August 11, 2008 Full Review Source: Total Film
Total Film

You can see now what Bernard Rose, Mike Figgis, Lars von Trier and all the other DV-fixated filmmakers are striving for; they're trying to reclaim the freedom, the weightlessness, of cinema. Bravo to them.

October 24, 2007 Full Review Source: Observer [UK]
Observer [UK]

Invigorating, revolutionary, joyfully iconoclastic and spontaneous.

October 24, 2007 Full Review Source: Film4
Film4

Highly innovative.

October 23, 2005 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Only in Paris.

April 20, 2003 Full Review Source: Filmcritic.com
Filmcritic.com

There's a passion there that's hard to define except in terms of superb, totally fluid and, for the time, completely original and audacious film-making.

August 3, 2002 Full Review Source: Guardian
Guardian

Audience Reviews for My Life to Live (It's My Life) (Vivre sa vie: Film en douze tableaux)

Jean-Luc Godard made some astounding films in the 60's, his impact on the New Wave in France at the time was crucial to its success and he remains to this day, a very influential and important film maker. He didn't always get it right though and for me, Vivre sa vie isn't one of his greats. However, he did do two very important things right. Firstly, he hired Raoul Coutard to shoot the film in beautiful black and white, Paris never looked so good. Secondly, he gave his then wife, Anna Karina, the freedom (if you can call it that) of improvisation. A move that cemented her newly acquired status as the up and coming actress to look out for and also it gave her the confidence she didn't have in her earlier films. It's certainly a turning point in her career which is obvious when comparing her before and afters. Jean-Luc Godard, the epitome of love/hate.
October 24, 2011
SirPant

Super Reviewer

Good...it's a little out there...but then again what do you expect from a Godard movie?Kudos to the machine gun jump cuts and the rockin song they play on the juke box...anyone know what it is?
August 27, 2011
kenstachnik

Super Reviewer

Out of all the films by Jean-Luc Godard I've seen so far, "VIVRE SA VIE" is one of the best, and undoubtedly the most accessible. Anna Karina just radiates on screen (as per usual) and Godard gives his characters room to breathe and tones down his signature stylistic flair to refreshing effect. Some of the most interesting and witty dialogue I've heard from Godard is present here, and feels pulled from a movie made tomorrow (so ahead of it's time). I didn't care for the film's abrupt ending at all, but it was pivotal for the point Godard was trying to make about the subject of prostitution.
August 23, 2011
YLOWBSTARDreturns

Super Reviewer

the list of actresses that are so polarizing on screen that you cant take your eyes off of them is short, but anna karina belongs on the short list with stars like monroe, jolie, and johannson. she is mesmerizing to watch, and in this film the camera never really leaves her. the final scene is completely nonsensical, but the rest of the film leading up to it was interesting enough and the camera angles godard chooses for many of his shots adds an entire element on interest to the film. the plot and dialogue are reductively simple, but overall the film is very watchable, especially for godard or karina fans.
August 17, 2010
sanjurosamurai
danny d

Super Reviewer

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Foreign Titles

  • Die Geschichte der Nana S. (DE)
  • It's My Life (Vivre Sa Vie) (UK)
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