Saturday, May 28, 2011

La Vie en Rose


“Non, je ne regrette rien”

            La Vie En Rose is a biopic based on the life of the famous singer Edith Piaf. Piaf led a very troubled and stormy life from the time she was young. The movie depicts the singer’s troubles of alcohol and drug abuse and through all her troubles had one of the most beautiful singing voices in the world.
            If you want a full summary of the movie just read a biography of Piaf’s life and you will get the gist of it. The story is told in non-sequential order through flashbacks.
            What I want to discuss most is Marion Cotillard’s acting in the movie. The review in the poster claims the reviewer is is “The most astonishing immersion of one performer into the body and soul of another I’ve ever encountered on film.” The reviewer could not have summed up Cotillard’s performance any better. If the real Piaf had not died forty-seven years ago you would think you were watching her on film acting out her own story. Cotillard completely dove into the character and gave it her all along with so much more. I did not know who Cotillard was before I watched this in my French class last year (what a shock that I should have watched it there). I was so blown away by this woman’s performance; I could not get over how intense Cotillard was with her acting. This is a performance that almost every actor or actress should do this is their job to make us believe they are really the person or character they are portraying. Another reviewer for a newspaper said that the Academy should not even vote they should just hand the statue to her. I am sure there was a vote but Cotillard walked away with the golden statue and absolutely deserved it without a doubt (this was the first time the Oscar for Best Actress had gone to a French- language role). Cotillard’s performance was so amazing it really restored my faith that there are great actors left in Hollywood.
            La Vie en Rose is a great movie. We are shown glimpses of a life of a woman who was just always troubled. We have seen biopics like this before where a famous person goes off the handle even though they have had a great career and have people around them that care and we are supposed to feel bad for them. What makes La Vie en Rose so different from all the other biopics out there is Marion Cotillard playing Edith Piaf. Without her in the lead role it would have just been another foreign film and another biopic where we did not care that this person who had it all destroyed their life. But we are left caring because Cotillard went so deep with the role we could truly feel the torment and pain the character went through. There are some parts where she looks so ugly that she is scary and I doubt most actresses would be willing to go that far. The more I watch French films the more I find that their style of filmmaking is incredible and more often than not much better than American filmmaking and acting (maybe the French are more passionate about what they do than Americans are?).
            I highly recommend seeing La Vie end Rose. You will have to read subtitles and the movie is a bit long but trust me Marion Cotillard and the filmmaking are worth sitting through. I guarantee you will be left feeling satisfied.