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So as the fourth and last to post on the movie, there’s not much I can add to the discussion. But as my title should indicate, I join Adam and Jared in my distaste and ambivalence for La Vie en Rose.

I guess it was a bad sign when I fell asleep for about 10 minutes in the first hour of the film, sometime during Gerard Depardieu’s cameo in the film as Piaf’s first manager. It was probably an even worse sign when I woke up, asked Jared if I missed anything, and he said, “No, not really.” Like all of us other than Jared, I knew nothing about Piaf’s life, but I think that the poor editing job hindered anyone’s ability to get a good handle on her life.

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In watching all the Oscar contenders, two things seem near inevitable. I will see movies that look terribly unappealing, and which I never would have seen otherwise, and be very pleasantly surprised. And I will see movies that are truly awful, a blight on the film industry. This year, La Vie En Rose is the first movie I’ve seen that falls into the latter. Unless you feel like being bored for two hours, I’d recommend to stay away at all possible. I’m totally with Adam. It seems like they filmed the movie chronologically, realized it was terrible, then cut the movie into 5-10 minutes pieces, and pasted together near-randomly, hoping the result would be seen as artsy. Unfortunately, the movie just stayed terrible. In the interest of full disclosure, I seem to be the only Grouch who was familiar with Edith Piaf’s music beforehand. And not just for its role in Sabrina (yes, both of them).
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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 »

What can I say? Outkast’s line from it’s aptly named Roses described this movie perfectly. (Hey, if Jared is allowed to reference romcoms, I think I should be able to work in a little HotLanta Hip-Hop.) But I digress – already. I recently had a chance/was forced to watch the Edith Pilaf biopic “La Vie En Rose”. I think it’s only fair to first comment that before I watched the movie, I had no idea who Edith Pilaf was, nor what kind of songs she sang. I think that the movie might have struck me slightly differently had I been more informed. That being said, on to the bashing…I mean…critique…

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July 2020