Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life 2011

Gainsbourg

Critics Consensus

It might be thinly written and messily made, but Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life is also appropriately glamorous and intense -- and powerfully led by a gripping performance from Erik Elmosnino.

73%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 82

68%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 16,594

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Movie Info

The life of French singer Serge Gainsbourg.

Cast & Crew

Eric Elmosnino
Serge Gainsbourg
Lucy Gordon
Jane Birkin
Laetitia Casta
Brigitte Bardot
Doug Jones
La Gueule
Anna Mouglalis
Juliette Gréco
Mylène Jampanoï
Bambou
Kacey Mottet Klein
Lucien Ginsburg
Razvan Vasilescu
Joseph Ginsburg
Dinara Drukarova
Olga Ginsburg
Olivier Daviaud
Original Music
Guillaume Schiffman
Cinematographer
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News & Interviews for Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life

Critic Reviews for Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life

All Critics (82) | Top Critics (29) | Fresh (60) | Rotten (22)

  • It's a comic-strip version of one man's life and times, but it's tres cool.

    December 9, 2011 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • While the movie's on a roll, it's zesty, engaging and frisky.

    November 16, 2011 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • In short, Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life is a charmer.

    November 10, 2011 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • French pop star Serge Gainsbourg was as much iconoclast as icon, so it's fitting that this fanciful biopic is both affectionate and irreverent.

    November 4, 2011 | Full Review…
  • Alas, "Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life" loses steam and grows more perfunctory as it wears on.

    October 27, 2011 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
  • For better and for worse, Sfar's a fan, and his movie is a busy love letter to Gainsbourg that skates along the surface of the legend.

    October 27, 2011 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

    Ty Burr

    Boston Globe
    Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life

  • Jul 04, 2013
    Before there was a Serge Gainsbourg(Eric Elmosnino), there was a Lucien Ginsburg(Kacey Mottet Klein), who as a child during the Nazi occupation of France, shows up early to get his yellow star. Otherwise, his musician father(Razvan Vasilescu) wants him to follow in his footsteps but young Lucien has other ideas that involve an interest in painting, especially after an early encounter with a nude model(Ophelia Kolb). As an adult, he is still studying art, at least until he meets Juliette Greco(Anna Mouglalis), Dali's mistress, as his mind goes back to music where the money is. As much as the spirited and sexy biopic "Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life" assumes the audience already knows about the work of the legendary composer and musician, it does not hurt the movie as it takes more of a psychological and expressionistic view, starting with the cool animated opening titles, as Gainsbourg is advised by his walking id(Doug Jones,) who also interacts with other characters, well into adulthood. That's when he gets to live the life he always dreamed of as a child with a panoply of beautiful women, and smoking cigarettes that make him look cool and which will also be the end of him. But if he could also make great songs like 'Bonnie and Clyde' with Brigitte Bardot(Laetitia Casta), I'm more than willing to look the other way.
    Walter M Super Reviewer
  • Dec 14, 2011
    Slightly surrealistic biopic covering the life of a French folk/rock icon, the hard-drinking, hard-smoking Lothario Serge Gainsbourg, with a scary puppet doppelganger on hand representing his inner demons. The experimentalism and some dead-on portrayals of Gainsboug's glamorous lovers---Juliette Greco, Brigitte Bardot and Jane Birkin---make for a lively tribute to the rakish singer's rebel spirit.
    Greg S Super Reviewer
  • Aug 11, 2011
    This charming biopic about Serge Gainsbourg is definitely not special, and I really don't know what is so heroic about him, but it is a delight to see how he wrote some of his songs and met the women of his life, in a surreal and stylish depiction of part of his existence.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer
  • Jun 26, 2011
    I could care less about the life of Gainsbourg and this movie really didn't change my mind. It mainly just follows the exact same formula of The Doors, but just with a far less interesting subject. It's almost baffling how they could get away with telling such a mirrored story when I'm sue the two people couldn't have been different. Sometimes this looks like a filmed play, due to the odd lighting and desire to always frame the action in exactly the same way. It also seemed to drag for a ridiculously long time for being just a 2hr movie. I'm not someone who is a die-hard fan of French film-making and this seemed to posses all the traits I don't care for. The necessity for imaginary puppets, goofy narrative breaks and oddly paced scenes didn't help me enjoy this anymore. The one thing I did happen to enjoy was all the beautiful women, but that's hardly something you can compliment the movie itself for. Eric Elmosnino really doesn't do anything interesting here; he just sort'v mopes his way through the movie and doesn't even become interesting until the very last stretch of Gainsbourg's life. I'm sure there will be people that eat this up and just love this biopic, but I really found it to be pointless and terribly executed.
    Conner R Super Reviewer

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