La Vie en Rose (2007) (PG-13)





















"La Vie en Rose" retells the life of French singer Edith Piaf. Edith lived with her mother at the beginning of her life. Her mother became ill and wrote to her father for him to come and take care of the child. Edith's father came and then soon after, dumped the child with his mother at a brothel. This is where Edith grew up. Although the living conditions are horrible and the adult mind is shocked at the actions of the father Olivier Dahan brings the child's mind to screen. Edith is fascinated by the brothel and its wonders, not really understanding what went on there.
After a few month there, Edith starts to go blind and eventually looses her sight completely before regaining it miraculously. After the blindness is gone, her father returns and scoops her up to take her away to be a circus performer. She doesn't want to go with her father, some of the women at the brothel were nicer to her than anyone had ever been and she formed bonds with them. But she is wrenched away from the mystical place of her childhood and forced to perform on the streets. By happenstance, her voice is discovered. It's a rich, deep, lovely singing voice, booming out of this little tiny girl. People love it and soon she's "well" off for a street performer.
 Edith's mid life is wrote with despair and confusion as she makes ends meet by performing on the street. She plays at little clubs and eventually is discovered by a man looking to turn her into a star. but Edith is stubborn and she wants things done her way, even when it will hurt her.
When her fame is reached, like a drug, she becomes addicted to this intoxication of being a public figure. She gets drunk on it, and on many forms of booze. Her life turns into the typical artist's sad story. Drugs and alcohol have their effect on her and by the time she's forty she looks like she could be seventy. But she still keeps playing and seems to have found love. All of that, mind you, before the final act.
Edith Piaf's life is filled with wondrous adventures and excitement. Little tidbits of information work their way onto screen, like the name "Piaf" and where that came from and educate the viewer while still entertaining.
Her life is one of the more influential of musicians. Her songs are always being repeated and sung over and over. Even the American, jazz musician Louis Armstrong covered the song "La Vie en Rose" which is where it got its international audience.
The song and title translates to "Life through rose-colored glasses". Poetic is it not?
Marion Cotillard plays Edith and what a performance it is! It's one of the best acting jobs ever! There is no comparison to how deep Cotillard descends into the character. It's mesmerizing.
It's one of the better biopics. I wouldn't consider it among the absolute best but it's still one great achievement in film.

Score: 3 and a half stars out of 4

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