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Sagan (2008)


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Release Date: Aug 11, 2008 Wide



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Average Rating: 3.5/5
User Ratings: 2,000

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Movie Info

Acclaimed filmmaker Diane Kurys pays homage to another French woman of the arts in this screen biography of internationally celebrated writer Francoise Sagan. As the film opens, it's 1954 and Sagan (played by Sylvie Testud), still in her teens, has become a literary celebrity overnight with the success of her first novel Bonjour Tristesse. Sagan is enjoying the high life with her close friends Jacques (Pierre Palmade) and Bernard (Lionel Abelanski), while spending her royalties on liquor, sports

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All Critics (12) | Top Critics (1) | Fresh (0) | Rotten (11)

[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.

March 21, 2011 Full Review Source: Quickflix

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.

October 8, 2010 Full Review Source: MovieTime, ABC Radio National
MovieTime, ABC Radio National

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.

October 8, 2010 Full Review Source: Trespass

To reference the other Sagan, this movie is something of a black hole. Then again, it wasn't conceived as a movie.

October 7, 2010 Full Review Source:

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.

October 7, 2010 Full Review Source: The Age (Australia)
The Age (Australia)

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.

October 6, 2010 Full Review Source: At the Movies (Australia) | Comment (1)
At the Movies (Australia)

What really damns it as literary biography is that it gives you little incentive to go back to her books.

October 6, 2010 Full Review Source: Sydney Morning Herald
Sydney Morning Herald

It is with a sense of mere interested detachment that you learn about Sagan?s lovelorn, reckless existence.

October 5, 2010 Full Review Source: Concrete Playground
Concrete Playground

Glum, grey portrait of an unhappy life.

October 4, 2010 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine Australasia
Empire Magazine Australasia

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

September 30, 2010 Full Review Source: Urban Cinefile
Urban Cinefile

Getting a sense of Françoise Sagan, novelist, playwright, screenwriter and lover of excess is almost a suffocating experience

September 30, 2010 Full Review Source: Urban Cinefile
Urban Cinefile

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.)
December 3, 2010
Walter M.

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