La Vie en Rose Movie Review (2007)
Neither documentary nor biopic, director Olivier Dahan explains that “Life in Pink,” as the film’s title translates (released La Mome in France), is an artist’s portrait of acclaimed French singer, Edith Piaf. Actress Marion Cotillard won six best actress awards for her performance in the film, portraying Piaf from the age of sixteen until her death at 47, though she actually appeared 70 or 80.
The singer’s life was dramatic enough to defy reality. Raised in a brothel, she then made a living singing on the streets until being rescued by nightclub owner Louis Leplee (Gerard Depardieu) in 1935. She became a sensation in Paris seemingly overnight, and ultimately, an internationally beloved icon.
Profuse with tragedy, Piaf’s life could easily be rendered something tedious and painful to witness. Instead, the tone of the film is triumphant, an emphatic celebration of life. The sets, the makeup, the script (written by Dahan and Isabelle Sobelman), and Tetsuo Nagata’s cinematography all reflect the passion Piaf effused.
Clever juxtapositions of different eras of the singer’s life compose the layout of the film. The director has explained that the sequences are meant to reflect the elucidation of memory as it occurs in flashes, irreverent of order. Maintaining the focus on the interior emotional space rather than the exterior iconic figure, Dahan chose to underscore those people and events that were the most formative to Edith as an artist. Many facts and details are thus omitted, leaving a largely theme driven account uncluttered by excessive content. The portrait is almost more viscerally real and palpable than historical fact.
- Story A-
- Acting A
- Visuals A
- Originality/Innovation B+
- Enjoyability A
- Overall A-
- DVD Extras B