French language biographical movie from 2007.
Starring: Marion Cotillard, Sylvie Testud, Pascal Greggory
Director: Olivier Dahan
Writers: Isabelle Sobelman, Olivier Dahan
Bechdel test: Pass
Édith Piaf grew up in extreme poverty in in 1920’s Paris and Normandie but ended up as one of France’s most loved singers. Sadly during her short life Édith had several sorrows that broke her heart and body.
There were many remarkable features of “La vie en rose”, but none more so than the music. The movie used tapes of Édith Piaf where that was avaliable, and other singers such as Jil Aigrot and the young girl below; Pauline Burlet. Marion Cotillard who portrays the adult Édith lip syncs. Luckily she does it well. Well enough so that I could not tell, at least. In the mean time, enjoy the scene where we hear the young Piaf sing for the first time.
The audio is of course important in a movie about the life of a singer, but they do it well, and the songs are placed in the movie at good intervals and accents the story well. The songs are well integrated.
Visually the use of the stage before Piaf goes on is especially powerful and we get to feel the joy, anticipation and passion of performing. There is also other pretty and strong visuals in “La vie en rose”. Well crafted cinematography.
The story is told in several timelines intertwined and we get to see defining episodes of her life rather than a linear story from birth to death. Sometimes we are also presented with a back and forth between scenes in different timelines. This could have been messy, but often it showed reasons for her actions and a connection between events in her life. The movie had few enough unnecessary elements and lines to handle the movements in time and space.
The star of this movie is, even more than the songs, is the acting. Marion Cotillard shows such raw emotion that I was in tears through half the movie and the Academy award was well deserved. The other actors were also a credit to their profession.
I definitely do not regret watching this movie. It showed me love and life. This is the best movie I have watched so far in my experiment.
I recommend that everyone see this movie.
In addition to everything else, Édith Piaf is sometimes called the soul of Paris. In my opinion, that is most evident in this song. Enjoy.
Over to you
If you’ve recently seen “La vie en rose” or you’re watching along with my year of movies, please leave a comment below with your thoughts on the movie or note down your opinion somewhere else.
38 movies down. 327 to go.
If you want to get “La vie en rose” from Amazon, here is a link for that. They probably have the movie many other places too. Maybe it’s on a streaming service you subscribe to already?
Tomorrow’s movie is “The help“. Get some more information about this movie and the other movies on my watch list this week on the upcoming movies page. If you’re new to this site and are wondering why I’m watching a movie every day for a year, read more about my experiment.
Until next time; live long and prosper.