La Vie en RoseDirector: Olivier Dahan
Writer/director Olivier Dahan (Crimson Rivers II) helmed La Vie en Rose, the screen biopic of tragic French songstress Edith Piaf. Marion Cotillard portrays Piaf, the superstar once raised as a young girl by her grandmother in a Normandy bordello, then discovered on a French street corner -- as a complete unknown -- by cabaret proprietor Louis Leplée (Gérard Depardieu). The film segues breezily between various episodes from Piaf's life -- such as her lover, French boxer Marcel Cerdan's (Jean-Pierre Martins) championship bout in mid-'40s New York; her period in Hollywood during the '50s; Piaf's abandonment as a young girl by her contortionist father (and earlier by her mother, a street singer); her brushes with the law as an adult; and her 1951 car accident and subsequent morphine addiction that caused her to age well beyond her years and left her barely mobile; and, through it all, her ability (like Billie Holiday) to funnel personal tragedy and emotional struggles into her vocalizations -- dazzling audiences in the process.
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Cast & Crew
|Marit Allen||Costumes/Costume Designer|
|Stephane Cressend||Art Director|
|Marc Dosine||Sound Mixer|
|Edouard Dubois||Musical Direction/Supervision|
|E.M. Costa Ellis||Makeup|
|Christopher Gunning||Score Composer,Musical Direction/Supervision|
|Mathias Honore||Asst. Director|
|Jean-Paul Hurier||Sound/Sound Designer|
|Nikolas Javelle||Sound Editor|
|Petra Kobedova||Art Director|
|Oldrich Mach||Asst. Director|
|Catherine Morisse||Associate Producer|
|Gaël Nicolas||Sound Editor|
|Michal Prikryl||Production Manager|
|Olivier Raoux||Art Director|
|Marc Vade||Production Manager|
|Cecile Vatelot||Art Director|
|Pascal Villard||Sound Editor|
|Laurent Zeilig||Sound/Sound Designer|
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Edith Piaf's rise from extreme poverty to greatness is vividly depicted in this movie. A particularly moving portion of the movie reveals that Edith's alcoholic mother abandoned her while her father was off to war. When he returns, he finds his daughter sick and malnourished so he drops her off at a house of prostitution. There, the prostitutes learn to love Edith and rush her to a hospital when her health declines, probably saving her life. Piaf's voice is unusual in that it project feelings so intensely, listeners unfamiliar with the French language can still receive the full impact of her messages. Like Enrico Caruso, there may never be another Edith Piaf, someone worshiped by billions including Kings, Presidents and Premiers. If Edith Piaf was an American alive today, she would be more famous than Britney Spears and Linsay Lohan combined.
That 'La Môme' AKA 'La Vie En Rose' is a triumph for actress Marion Cotillard who manages to inhabit the persona of Édith Piaf is a given. This is a powerful, deeply moving tribute to a musical phenomenon whose impact on the world remains as heady as during her short lifetime (December 19, 1915-October 11, 1963). She remains a French icon but her singing and her life belong to the world: who can resist her "poignant ballads performed in a heartbreaking voice", the result of her life as an unwanted child, raised in a brothel, starting her career as a street singer with her circus contortionist father only to be discovered and given the opportunity to sing in a cabaret, a move that brought her to the attention of the world and made her one of the most sought after singers on the world's stages? No matter the degree of involvement in music, everyone has heard and reacted to her most famous songs 'La vie en rose', 'Hymne à l'amour', 'Milord', ' and of course her signature song 'Non, je ne regrette rien'. Writer/director Olivier Dahan (with assist from Isabelle Sobelman) has elected to present Piaf's impact on the world not as a linear biopic but rather as fragments from her existence as a child protected in a brothel by prostitute Titine (Emmanuelle Seigner), her life as a street singer with her pal Mômone (Sylvie Testud), her 'discovery' by Louis Leplée (Gérard Depardieu), her descent into alcoholism and drug addiction after the loss of the love of her life - a married boxer Marcel Cerdan (Jean-Pierre Martins), and her eventual fame in New York. Oddly the impact she had on the French people during World War II is ignored and there are other large chunks of her life story that are missing. But in the end the fragments we are given allow us to empathize and understand the persona of Édith Piaf, and that makes any other misgiving irrelevant. Devan obviously found the perfect actress in Marion Cotillard ('A Very Long Engagement', 'A Good Life', 'Pretty Things', etc) whose immersion in the role is breathtakingly brilliant. The feature accompanying the film on the DVD (already 141 minutes in length!) allows us to see and hear the manner in which Devan and Cotillard recreated Piaf in makeup, costume, body language and of course impeccable lip-syncing of Piaf's songs. This is a film that lingers in the mind not only as a memory of a great artist but also as a reminder of how even the most broken of spirits can survive and succeed. Stunning! Grady Harp
This was a really well made film. It won at the Seattle International Film Festival and was re-released that same autumn at the Egyuptian Theatre. Marion Cotillard was excellent and gave a great performance. Incidentally, this is what I had wished for Audrey Tatou's equally good performance in 'Coco before Channel' but she suffered from writer's cramp in my opinion. Both women, Edith Piaf and Coco Chanel, came from the dank streets of the Parisian underworld labor and rose in the classic age to notoriety. Once again well done, Lo doth the Beastdragon walketh and beholdeth
Undoubtedly, a new and rising performer, French beauty,Marion Cotillard, portrays the legendary composer-interpreter, Edith Piaf, France's incomparable voice of a century! A fresh, uplifting anecdotal biography of Piaf's life and contributions as songstress! This cinematic drama illustrates France's post- revolutionary period, a transition to hope. The hardships the multitude phase, the austerity, disease- infested homeless in the ghetto,they sing, beg, drink, steal, all cluster in the destroyed alleyways. In this town, Edith Piaf was Born,the little girl is mistreated by her alcoholic mother. Her mother takes of, a lady of the streets, neglects young Edith. Edith is malnirtured, and has poor healh. Her father returns from war, finds Edith abandoned, and very ill. He becomes enraged and takes the infant with him, from this town, to a brothel! He takes off on duty once again and leaves his daughter in the care of the ladies at the Brothel House. Edith's health worsenes, she looses her site for a while,. Luckily, the brothel ladies grow fond of the little girl, and rush her to the doctor. The girls bond with little Edith, giving her a sense of belonging, they become her new family. Edith father returns and takes her with him. Edith's father visions to make money with the traveling circus. He attempts to entertain hundreds of excited Spectators, life is scarce for many still, and his plans do not turn well, it's hard to get an audience... plus he lacks talent. He starts losing patience, and one day, young Edith jumps in and incorporates into his act, she is charming and the audience like her as she entertaines, sings. She shows a natural talent, her voice is admired by the Spectators. She is happy amusing the crowds, with her genuine sparkly personality, and she enjoys helping her father. They continue on the road without much luck, couple of years more, they return to the her town. She is surrownded by all, the bumps where she lived, and to the fast changing busy city that exhibit grand crescent buildings, a metropolitan rhythm. A joyous extravagant few adorn themselves with trendy commodities, eagerly welcome, the evolving era, with it's modern splendor, new fashions,and uprising, tasty music and entertainment.Her father grows sour, disdainful at his failures Edith starts growing into her adolescence. She meets her best friend, and the gils partner up, catching random gigs, singing on busy streets and corner bars. Edith lives with her father at first, but then she decides to be on her own. She also bumps into her estranged mother, who hasn't changed her shameless ways in the least, except, her aged unforgiving skin has taken a toll. Her mother lingers around her, begs Edith for money to suffice her alcoholism, food, and other habits. Edith sees thet her mother is selfish, and she is quick to get away from her. She is in her late teens, on her own just fine,at ease..her infant years neglected and on the go have made her confident and independent...with an adamant drive to wander! She confides in her best friend, She finaly finds herself rurrounded by a handful of friends,her drinking comarades. She is not beautiful, but she posseses a presence that peaks when provoked! She sings, her voice floureshes, charming the crowds at the local pubs! She sings about life... and to Life! ...To the ups-and- downs, ...and the casual lovers. She drinks,... sings A paced, stretched-momentum... in syncopating beat, after another drunken toast, ...smeared nights at the bar Singing popular radio songs, conveying the lyrics on a pallete of in-between hues, ...rough, and impregnating. She is young and jolts thru life ...defying her limits. She lives in the sreets on and off, an adventurous bum she is, ... Fierce and Immuned to the richman's delirum, as shes embraces the poorman's clear conscious.
La Vie en Rose is one of the best films I have seen this year. It tells the true story of Edith Piaf, a woman who was born into poverty and rose to great success using the "only gift she had", her voice. Marion Cotillard gives an astounding performance as Piaf, whose voice became known as "the soul of Paris" and whose life became a constant struggle to sing and survive constant trials and triumphs. Beautfiully filmed with an electrifying performance by Marion Cotillard who makes one of the great icons of the 20th century a real flesh-and-blood human being. Cotillard definately deserves the Oscar for her brilliant and inspired performance.
Beautiful movie! Exceptional performances. Makes you think about how difficult life was then and still is.
The display of talent by Marion Cotillard is memorable. If you speak french or understand enough, she reminds you entirely of Edith Piaf whom I remember from the 1960's.The subtitles do not always do justice to the French script and therein lies the need for French. Every scene is a tour de force and as docudramas go, one of the best.
This film so so wonderfully done, in every way. Even if you do not know who Piaf was, that doesn't matter at all. If you do know then it is all the more interesting. First Rate all the way. Couldn't stop talking about this film afterward and have recommended it to everyone I know that appreciates movies, music and biographies.