La Vie En Rose

Lainey Posted by Lainey at August 22, 2007 15:34:14 August 22, 2007 15:34:14

LaineyMovies – the 2nd review. We’ve conceived the design for the LaineyMovies and LaineyBooks pages, only people are on holiday, other tech upgrades had to be made first, blah blah blah. I’m hoping September. I’m sorry for sucking.

Having said that, it doesn’t mean the content can’t be posted on the main page. So here’s the 2nd review. If you haven’t read my friend Michelle Crespi’s inaugural contribution for the cinematic gem that is Once please click here.

This time, it’s me. After months of meaning to, I finally saw La Vie En Rose. Un-f&cking-believable.

La Vie En Rose

I went to a French school so in that obnoxious way, similar to my obnoxious anglophile tendencies, I am pretentiously wannabe French too. Roll your eyes. But you don’t have to be a frog lover to love this movie. And you’d have to be blind and crazy to not love Marion Cotillard.

As noted before, Jeux d’enfants (Love Me if You Dare – crap English title) is one of my favourite movies ever. Talk about porn but not porn. Marion and Guillaume Canet will set your loins afire. And Marion set Russell Crowe’s loins afire too in last year’s The Good Year. Nothing sexier than a French girl biting her lip.

And nothing more impressive than a French girl losing herself to the role of a lifetime. Marion plays Edith Piaf. She is beguiling, she is vulnerable, she is charming, she is brilliantly tortured. It is an Oscar worthy turn and if she doesn’t receive a nomination, it will be one of the most heinous snubs of all time.

On top of the obvious physical transformation, it’s also the attention to detail – her voice, lower and raspy, almost feral, and the lipsynching… if lipsynching can be called an art, she totally mastered it. You know it’s Edith but you can’t believe it’s not Marion.

Of course, above all, it’s about the story. Edith’s life is well known and in this film, it is hauntingly portrayed. Interestingly enough, the parallels with present day celebrity cannot be ignored. Edith was embroiled in a murder scandal, connected to the mob and accused of colluding with the Germans, rumoured to have been raped and abused, used alcohol and drugs heavily, and also manipulated the media in making over her image. Still the legend lives on.

I loved that the script didn’t kowtow to the neophyte. I love that in tossing aside chronology, the film resembled an illustrated recollection of a life, rather than one represented through dates and times. I loved that the cinematographer was not afraid to let the colours explode on the screen, even to recount a time about which our visual references are often muted and stale. Not to say that the lighting and the tone weren’t characters in the movie itself, because they were. I believed I was there. I believed I was in a smoky club listening to an icon without feeling like I was stuck in movie from that era. Does that make sense?

I hope La Vie En Rose will stay with you as it has with me. Stars like Edith don’t exist anymore. She was a talented and she was a trainwreck. She came from the street, she clawed and scraped her way to the top, no excuses, no sit down exclusive interviews with her eyelashes falling off babbling about her boo boos. As tawdry as it could be perceived, there was a stoicism and an elegance about the way she lived her life which is perhaps why her life has lived on – attributes that seem in such short supply right now.

In these times, everyone is an “artist”. But if Art is Forever… who among the now will be talked about like Edith?


La Vie en Rose – see it before it comes down.

Ps. Isn"t Marion stunning???



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