Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life Reviews

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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
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
Craig Mathieson
sbs.com.au
November 4, 2010
Gainsbourg is like a song without a decent chorus, and the man himself, a gifted craftsman, would never have stood for that.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
Jim Schembri
The Age (Australia)
November 3, 2010
This plodding, largely uneventful biopic of French singer/songwriter/philanderer Serge Gainsbourg flails with its episodic structure and dire attempts at stylistic quirkiness.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/5
Leigh Paatsch
Herald Sun (Australia)
November 3, 2010
Viewers unfamiliar with the length, breadth and weirdness of Gainsbourg's imposing body of work will find it difficult to connect with this film.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
Jeffrey M. Anderson
Combustible Celluloid
November 18, 2011
Overall, the film makes a common mistake: it tells what happened to Gainsbourg, but not who he really was.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Anthony Quinn
Independent (UK)
July 30, 2010
It's a brave variation on the biopic, but not a compelling one.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
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
A.O. Scott
New York Times
August 30, 2011
Lacks either the dramatic intensity or the arresting insight that might have lifted it out of the pedestrian realm of the admiring biopic.
Read More | Original Score: 2/5
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.
Top Critic
Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
October 27, 2011
Alas, "Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life" loses steam and grows more perfunctory as it wears on.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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
Top Critic
Bernard Besserglik
Hollywood Reporter
February 1, 2010
Biopic of French proto-punk starts well but loses focus.
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
Scott Tobias
AV Club
August 30, 2011
What's surprising, and ultimately disappointing, about Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life is the degree to which Sfar allows biopic obligations to smother his more whimsical instincts.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
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-
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.
Read More | Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
Stephen Cole
Globe and Mail
September 16, 2011
Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life accepts its subject on his own terms. And the compromise feels like capitulation before its hero's last record spins to a close.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Michael O'Sullivan
Washington Post
October 14, 2011
A viewer who comes into "Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life" knowing nothing about Serge Gainsbourg will not come out the other side especially enlightened about the late French-Jewish singer-songwriter's life, least of all why it is heroic.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Top Critic
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
October 27, 2011
It's the story of a genius with no moral sense and no interests beyond sensuality. The catchy, insinuating music can only carry you so far.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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