In 1958, Françoise Sagan is not yet 30. Her first novels have made her rich and famous. She leads a frivolous and wild life, surrounded by her group of friends. On Aug. 8 of that same year, at the Deauville casino, she bets her final chips on the number 8 and wins 8 million francs. With this sum, a few hours later she buys the house she has rented for the summer near Honfleur. Without planning to do so, she becomes the owner of the property and vows that nobody will ever drive her away from that place. Why then, 40 years later, is she merely a guest at the house? What events have led the young literary prodigy to end up financially ruined and estranged from all those with whom she squandered the years of her life? … More
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Critic Reviews for Sagan
[The film] traps Françoise in a film so bland you would think it was depicting the lives of Isaac Funk and Adam Wagnalls and their attempts to publish a cheap, yet informative, encyclopedia.
This biopic, from respected film maker Diane Kurys gives Sylvie Testud a chance to channel this witty, amusing woman and let us think about her life. But it bustles along so fast my sympathy was only intermittently engaged.
If Sagan is an underappreciated literary icon as the filmmakers imply, they've failed to restore her memory any glory with this underwhelming, uninspiring portrait.
To reference the other Sagan, this movie is something of a black hole. Then again, it wasn't conceived as a movie.
Edited down from its original incarnation as a two-part TV mini-series, the film in memory becomes a series of scenes with Sagan staggering about dropping drunken bons mots. Nothing can redeem this laughable material.
Sagan's fascinating life has been presented in a rather mundane fashion by Diane Kurys; it's chronologically plodding with a wall-papering of Sagan's writings on life and love in voice-over.
What really damns it as literary biography is that it gives you little incentive to go back to her books.
It is with a sense of mere interested detachment that you learn about Sagan?s lovelorn, reckless existence.
The problem with this film is that it tries to puddle-jump her life in a series of many chapters that, ironically, combine to deliver an incomplete picture of the person
Audience Reviews for Sagan
"Sagan" is an anecdotal and breezy biopic about Francoise Sagan(Sylvie Testud), nee Quoirez, the famed French writer, whose best scene involves a very mischievous dog. Almost as a lark, she writes "Bonjour Tristesse" which turns her into an overnight success and is soon to be a major motion picture starring David Niven, Deborah Kerr and Jean Seberg. I would have liked to have seen a little about this adaptation, as it would have enhanced the surrealism of Sagan's whirlwind life. All is not smooth sailing, however, as she is attacked by critics, who doubt that she in fact wrote her first novel and then her later work as 'minor music.' Otherwise, there is not that much on her writing, giving the emphasis of the movie over to her tumultuous personal life. If she had not spent so much time enjoying herself with her extended family of friends and lovers of both genders, then this could have easily just been another cautionary tale about becoming a success too soon.(She took up an assumed name to write, so her respectable family would not be afraid people thought she was writing about them.) With her first earnings, she buys a sports car, which she eventually crashes. After a win at the roulette wheel, she buys a country estate where Sarah Bernhardt once spent the night. So, it must come as something of a shock when she makes it to old age, despite the copious use of drugs and alcohol(the welcome playing of "One Night in Bangkok" is entirely appropriate), which she never prepared for, encapsulating the very ephemeral nature of life, just as her writing still lives on.
(Originally reviewed in the blog section on 6/22/2010.)
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