Monday, June 30, 2008

Week 49: La Vie En Rose

I was on the fence about renting La Vie En Rose until I developed a mad girl crush on Marion Cotillard when she accepted her Academy Award earlier this year. Remember her in the dress that vaguely resembled a tilapia filet? She was so lovely and unbotoxed. (Pay attention, Nicole Kidman)

If you're like me, you probably have no idea who Edith Piaf was. Conversely, like me you probably know volumes about Britney Spears. Sigh. I digress... Piaf was a scrappy street-born singer who became a French national icon. As soon as you hear the songs, you'll know exactly who she is. Her voice is unmistakable.

Piaf's life was a trainwreck of celebrity and tragedy. She's one part Eliza Doolittle, one part Ava Peron and one part stray dog. It's a charming combination. The film is really successful at showing us all the shades of Piaf's self-destructiveness but fails by trying to cram too much in. Example: in one scene she's being grilled by the police over involvement in the murder of her manager. The scene is never resolved or referenced again. We assume she wasn't imprisoned, but who knows. Also, did she have three husbands? Several lovers? Token gays? Or were they just managers? Who could tell?

On a final note, serious kudos to the make-up team for making Cotillard look so homely throughout the entire film. Edith Piaf was many things, but a looker she was not.

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