Friday, October 05, 2007

Review: La Vie en Rose

A Picturehouse Entertainment release 2007

Directed by Olivier Dahan

Written by Olivier Dahan & Isabelle Sobelman

The extraordinary life and times of famed French singer Edith Piaf (Marion Cotillard)

Like most biopics, this incredibly uneven but suprisingly moving portrait of Edith Piaf, one of France's national treasures, relies heavily on the performance of its lead, Marion Cotillard. Thankfully she nails Piaf to a tee, capturing her movements and manneurisms with such precision it's almost uncanny.

If only the script did her performance justice. Dahan's presentation of periods in Piaf's life is so scatterbrained, it's almost hard to tell what is going on. The film does an incredible amount of jumping back and forth through time in the most illogical of ways; snippets from Piaf's childhood are connected to her final days or mid-life antics without any real causal connection, thematically or emotionally. The poor pacing results in a fragmented portrait of this powerful artist, one that leaves the spectator feeling as though they are missing something, despite the film's two and a half hour plus run time.

If you're already a fan of Piaf, then you're sure to love this film. If not, stick to the soundtrack - it'll tell you all you need to know.

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