La Vie en Rose

La Vie en Rose is the biopic of French singer Edith Piaf, it is almost 2 and a half hours long and follows her life from childhood to death. It was directed by Olivier Dahan and stars Marion Cotillard in the role of Edith. One might recognize actor Gerard Depardieu in a brief cameo as well.

The atmosphere for this film is amazing, obviously helped along by the romantic and sometimes haunting old time music performed. The actors are all amazing in the film as well. Marion Cotillard puts in a performance that demands your attention. I was not familiar with Edith Piaf prior to watching this film and do not know if she was a dead ringer for her or not, but I can say she was very interesting. True, it was a borderline fascination similar to looking at something in a freak sideshow, because apparently Piaf was one odd duck.

The story is told over the course of Edith’s entire life, however, it is not told from start to finish such as that. The film bounces back and forth between time periods in Edith’s life, so much so that I was confused very quickly. On top of the confusion in time travel there are several important plot points that needed some more detail and explaining, yet were introduced , made major changes to Edith’s life, and yet weren’t explained fully. An example is the death of someone close to her, which is apparently a murder, which the public suspects she was involved in. Yet, they never tell you who did it, why it was done, or even how the person was killed; shot, poisoned, what? This is just a small example of details being left out that helped to confuse me.

Being confused for 2 and a half hours is not a good thing. I wanted to like the movie because of the great acting and interesting story that I was not familiar with, but it is impossible to accurately gauge too much about Edith from this film without doing some outside research as well to fill in all of the holes. It is a very slow moving film.

La Vie en Rose, if you are a fan of old French music, or know a little about her it may be a great film to you. However, be prepared to pay close attention during this slow drama to try and figure out what is actually going on or in the end you may be like me: remembering the character and booing the rest.

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