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The post title is the name of Edith Piaf’s biggest hit. It means “No, I regret nothing” and if she truly regretted nothing in her life she wasn’t paying close enough attention.

I, however, do not regret seeing this film. Adam thought this was a great performance buried in a bad film. I’m a little more charitable in that I think it’s a great performance in the middle of a flawed but still decent film.

First thing’s first, Marion Cotillard is terrific. This is one of those full-bodied, larger than life, meaty roles and she really throws herself into it. Piaf is something of a tragic figure in that her own flaws inevitably bring her down, but she’s not very sympathetic. The role requires Cotillard to play a mean drunk probably 50% of the film. Piaf is a self-centered, addiction-prone, and just generally mean character but she’s a hell of a performer. Substance abuse, arthritis, and a series of injuries ages her beyond her years so that she looks elderly in her late 40’s (and even then she manages to bark at her nurses). Cotillard plays all but the young child versions of Piaf, from the brazen street singer around 20 who gets her big break, to the top of the French pop scene, and back down to infirmity. She nails it. Even though I understand she does not do her own singing she still knocks the performance scenes out of the park. Piaf was a dynamo under 5 feet and could spellbind an audience of thousands and Cotillard brings that all to the screen. Read the rest of this entry »

December 2007