Thursday, February 28, 2008

La Vie en Rose: life's no bowl of cherries

When I found out that La Vie en Rose was available to view at Netflix, I decided to watch it, curious to see the Oscar winning performance of the French actress, Marion Cotillard,who  portrayed Edith Piaf. I was not disappointed.

On the movie's site, you can see some scenes from the film. The film ranged from joyous to tragic and, in the end, it's a movie about the life of the singer, who grew up in a whore house, a circus and singing on the streets only to find her way to fame. The tragedy of her life was that she also found her way to addiction, and although love eluded her, she never realized that she couldn't get from fame and talent what she really needed.

An altogether very familiar Hollywood theme, but done in a remarkable way. Perhaps it's the fact that the film is in French, or the cinematography which showed the actress in Chaplin-like portraits, her small face framed in a bobbed cut with enormous dark eyes staring out. The waif-like portrayal of Piaf juxtaposed with her wild child existence made her so vulnerable and appealing that it was difficult to step away from the film afterwards, to leave its spell.

I didn't want to watch it at times, particularly the most painful scenes, but it kept drawing me back in for over two hours. And it's easy to see why it won Oscars for make up and best actress.