Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life Reviews

Top Critic
Joe Williams
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
December 9, 2011
It's a comic-strip version of one man's life and times, but it's tres cool.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Trevor Johnston
Time Out
November 16, 2011
While the movie's on a roll, it's zesty, engaging and frisky.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
November 10, 2011
In short, Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life is a charmer.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Andrea Gronvall
Chicago Reader
November 4, 2011
French pop star Serge Gainsbourg was as much iconoclast as icon, so it's fitting that this fanciful biopic is both affectionate and irreverent.
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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
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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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Ty Burr
Boston Globe
October 27, 2011
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
October 27, 2011
Why was Gainsbourg a hero? The film leaves the question hanging. I am afraid it was only because, like Sinatra, he did it his way. Which no one can deny.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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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
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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
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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
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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-
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Anthony Lane
New Yorker
September 6, 2011
A lively bout between bio-pic and fairy tale.
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Elizabeth Weitzman
New York Daily News
September 2, 2011
If only all biopics were as entertaining as this...
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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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
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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.
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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
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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-
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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
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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
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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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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+
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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.
| Original Score: 2/5
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Bernard Besserglik
Hollywood Reporter
February 1, 2010
Biopic of French proto-punk starts well but loses focus.
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Jordan Mintzer
Variety
January 22, 2010
Both evocative and faithful in its depiction of the famed French singer's lascivious life, Gainsbourg (vie heroique) offers up a feast of memorable chansons and an almost endless parade of drop-dead-gorgeous muses.