fbpx

LA VIE EN ROSE

Director: OLIVIER DAHAN

FRANCE • 2007 • SUBTITLED • COLOUR • ANAMORPHIC • DOLBY DIGITAL STEREO • 140 MIN


ONE OF EDITH PIAF’S SIGNATURE SONGS WAS ‘NON, JE NE REGRETTE RIEN’ AND DISCERNING VIEWERS ARE UNLIKELY TO REGRET BUYING A TICKET TO BIOPIC LA VIE EN ROSE, IN WHICH ACTRESS MARION COTILLARD SURPASSES HERSELF AS THE WAIFLIKE FRENCH SONGBIRD WHOSE PERSONAL TRAUMAS FUELLED HER ART.
Director Olivier Dahan weaves known incidents from Piaf’s personal and professional trajectory into a celluloid mosaic. His film draws on old-fashioned show-must-go-on gumption, yet feels modern, not musty, in its approach. Younger audiences may not immediately appreciate the gripping originality of Piaf’s delivery, but they should be able to relate to hard knocks, drug addiction, alcohol, lost love and the needy flip side of adulation when your inner child is scruffy and wounded. Piaf spent her formative years in a brothel, went blind for a while as a child, was suspected of having murdered the impresario who engineered her first professional break—and that’s just the tip of a juicy biographical iceberg.
A wiry wisp of a woman who eventually loomed larger than life, Piaf was discovered on a street corner by Louis Leplee (Gerard Depardieu). The period recreations feel just right: from impoverished Belleville to the championship bout in 40s New York by Piaf’s true love, boxer Marcel Cerdan (Jean-Pierre Martins). But the well-dressed sets and convincing costumes would have meant little without Cotillard’s bracing and affecting performance. She embodies Piaf’s raspy speaking voice, her imperious streetwise attitude, her simple joy at being lionized by other celebrities, and the taste of artistic triumph mixed with the constant hum of genuine tragedy. —Lisa Nesselson.

Book Tickets

}