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La Vie en Rose
Cast: Marion Cotillard, Gerard Depardieu
Director: Olivier Dahan
WorkNameSort: La Vie en Rose
Our Rating: 4.00
Leave it to the French to do biopics a bit differently than us. In La Vie en Rose, the story of legendary French chanteuse Edith Piaf, director Olivier Dahan proves no slave to traditional childhood-to-death chronology. His fragmented portrait of Piaf is a nonlinear compilation of key events that burst across the screen like fireworks. Boom: It's 1959, and she's collapsed on stage. Boom: It's the early '20s, and as a young girl she's afflicted with temporary blindness while languishing in her grandmother's brothel. Boom: It's 1963, and arthritis has rendered her bedridden. Boom: It's 1948, and the love of her life has just won the middleweight boxing championship. The unpredictable structure is the film's most distinguishing characteristic, but it does succumb to the American tendency of biopic overlength, running about 20 minutes too long. Otherwise, this is a remarkably evenhanded, unflatteringly honest depiction of the singer and her devastating last days, played magnificently by virtual unknown Marion Cotillard.