La Vie en rose (2007)

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La Vie en rose is a 2007 French biographical musical film about the life of singer Édith Piaf. It was directed by Olivier Dahan and starred Marion Cotillard as Piaf. The film begins with segments from Edith’s childhood and ends with circumstances surrounding her death.

Piaf was and has become of the most celebrated singers of all time. She is known for her torch ballads about love, loss and sadness. Her most well known songs are, Le Vie en rose, Non je ne regrette rien, Hymne à l’amour, La Foule, L’Accordéoniste, Padam, Padam… 

Although, most of the songs weren’t sung by Cotillard, she did wonderfully as Piaf. I can’t think of anyone else that would have come even close to the Édith-ness as her. Marion had the look and mannerisms down perfectly. If you’ve actually seen videos or documentaries on Piaf, you’d agree. I just wish Marion could’ve have had the singing part down too, but not every actor or actress is musically gifted. She brings back one of the most well known and extraordinary, yet tragic French singers of all time. We get to learn about the life of Édith from childhood to her devastating death.

Gerard Depardieu is also great as Louis Leplée, the French nightclub owner who discovered Édith in Paris on a street corner. Jean Pierre Martins does a fine job as Marcel Cerdan, who was a French Pied-Noir world boxing champion. Marie Armelle Deguy does a fairly good job as Marguerite Monnot, a French songwriter and composer, who wrote many of Édith’s songs. Caroline Sihol is really good as German singer and actress Marlene Dietrich.

If you don’t know much or anything about Édith Piaf and want to, then watch this film, because you learn so much about her, also her family, friends and the people she worked with. She was a remarkable woman, struck by tragedy, that ended her life too soon, but she left behind a legacy, becoming an inspiration, not just for other French singers like Carla Bruni and Serge Gainsbourg, but singers around the world. Her music is still enjoyed to this day. La Vie en rose is sung by Lady Gaga’s character in the 2018 A Star is Born and Non je ne regrette rien was used in a 2016 commercial for Dove Chocolate.

Overall, I found this to be a wonderful film. I learned so much about Édith Piaf, that I found it fascinating. A stunning, yet depressing story, about one of the most beautiful, not just French voices, but voices ever. I loved it from beginning to end. 13+ 4.5/5

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