Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life Reviews

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Nathalie Atkinson
National Post
September 16, 2011
What elevates Gainsbourg above Behind The Music territory is that peppered with his songs, something the Gainsbourg family has never let any other biographical feature do.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Norman Wilner
NOW Toronto
September 16, 2011
You can't say Gainsbourg lacks vision. It's got vision to spare, really. That's the problem.
| Original Score: 2/5
Tony Medley
Tolucan Times
September 15, 2011
Since director Sfar didn't think it important to deal with the "facts" of Gainsbourg's interesting life, what's the point of seeing his phantasmagoric film?
Full Review | Original Score: 1/10
Top Critic
Greg Quill
Toronto Star
September 15, 2011
While Sfar doesn't dare tinker with the facts or sully the mystique, he gains enormous traction via the imaginative and subversive manner he has devised to tell a story that, in many ways, is hard to believe.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Shawn Levy
Oregonian
September 9, 2011
It's never more than an intro to a man who merits volumes.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
Top Critic
Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
September 8, 2011
A sloggy fantasia about Gainsbourg's life featuring such oddities as a giant, hook-nosed puppet that acts as the singer's alter ego, as well as a parade of showy sequences involving grand Gainsbourg amours Brigitte Bardot and Jane Birkin.
Full Review | Original Score: C-
Top Critic
Anthony Lane
New Yorker
September 6, 2011
A lively bout between bio-pic and fairy tale.
Top Critic
Elizabeth Weitzman
New York Daily News
September 2, 2011
If only all biopics were as entertaining as this...
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
September 1, 2011
Unconventional, imaginative, nothing if not audacious, "Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life" is a portrait of creativity from the inside, a serious yet playful attempt to find an artistic way to tell an emotional truth.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
John Anderson
Wall Street Journal
September 1, 2011
One could hardly make an honest movie about Gainsbourg that wasn't as recklessly ambitious as this.
Chris Cabin
Filmcritic.com
September 1, 2011
drifts for much of its extended runtime like a stream of Technicolor tobacco smoke
| Original Score: 3/5
Sean Gandert
Paste Magazine
September 1, 2011
Gainsbourg ends up questionable when it comes to actual biography, but it does a great job capturing the man's spirit, which it's hard not to believe Serge himself would find far more important.
Full Review | Original Score: 7.1/10
Michelle Orange
Movieline
September 1, 2011
A few shots of full frontal and an actual devil to point to are poor substitutes for exposure and depth of character.
Full Review | Original Score: 6.5/10
Top Critic
August 31, 2011
Beyond its fantasy elements, Sfar's film doesn't color outside the lines as much as he might like us to think.
Full Review | Original Score: 5.8/10
Top Critic
Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
August 31, 2011
There's one good reason to see this biopic of the French pop-cabaret songster Serge Gainsbourg, and that's its lead actor, Erik Elmosnino.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
David Noh
Film Journal International
August 31, 2011
A truly wonderful music biopic in which Serge Gainsbourg comes enthrallingly to life with audacious glamour, intensity and genius.
Donald J. Levit
ReelTalk Movie Reviews
August 31, 2011
Film and director-writer have won awards at home and abroad, as has Eric Elmosnino for his portrayal of the insolent yet winsome title hero, who also displays unheroic traits.
Top Critic
Alison Willmore
Time Out
August 31, 2011
Despite the attention the film pays to the divide between the man as the ungainly, loving second-gen immigrant versus the boozy provocateur, it's not a portrait of much psychological depth.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
V.A. Musetto
New York Post
August 31, 2011
Laetitia Casta steals the movie as Bardot, slinking down the hall in a miniskirt and knee-high black boots, leading a dog on a leash, then cavorting nude behind a bedsheet as Gainsbourg knocks out a song on the piano.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
J. Hoberman
Village Voice
August 30, 2011
Still, for all the 40-year-old filmmaker's interpolated animations and puppets, for the insouciant, slapdash tone that characterizes his graphic novels, and for his protagonist's proclivity for scandal, the movie is too timidly conceived by half.
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