Movie Details

LA VIE EN ROSE (LA MOME)

Edith Gassion is born in Bellevue to a life of dejection and poverty and seems doomed to live it till her dying day. Yet, somewhere between all the scurrying about, the abuse, the mud and the market, she finds herself singing La Marseillaise to a street crowd and announces herself to the world that a star is born. Spotted by Louis the cabaret manager, she earns the nickname piaf, meaning sparrow, and she begins to pull herself up into the glitzy domain of Parisian socialites but the trappings of fame would serve to damage her capacity to perform to the waiting world. Are talent, love and pain the same things spelt differently for different people? From the womb to the tomb, it seems that Edith was always fighting for something but just like in her song "Non, je ne regrette rien" -she regrets nothing.

Language: French
Subtitle: NA
Classification: NC16
Release Date: 26 Jul 2007
Genre: Drama
Running Time: 2 Hours 20 Minutes
Distributor: CATHAY-KERIS FILMS
Cast: Marion Cotillard
Director:
Format: NA

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Review
Writer: Ezekiel Lee Zhiang Yang

Writer Ratings:
Overall:
Cast:
Plot:
Effects: NA
Cinematography:

Watch this if you liked: "Frida", "Queen Margot", "What''s Love Got To Do With It?"

Three years previous, I discovered a CD left lying on top of a pile of garbage.

I fell in love with the music ever since and today find myself reviewing this film, a grand biopic of the talent and the tragedy that was, and forever is, Edith Piaf -widely regarded as the greatest singer ever in French history.

But this review isn't about me. It's about Edith. Therein lies the dilemma -how do I proceed to tell you about a film that presumes knowledge on the part of the audience about her? Do I give you a history lesson (by most accounts, at least) on little Edith being an abandoned child who was raised by whores in a brothel? Or do I tell you about the blindness, murders, lovers, circus shows and drugs that lent character to the peerless voice which delivered "La Vie en Rose"?

The film brings you all these inside 140 minutes of sorrow and song, which will feel either too long or too short depending on your attention span for something so vast such as the lifetime of a person, and not just any person, but a damaged soul who was also physically ill. We see Edith (Cotillard) survive an impossibly difficult childhood to grow into the monumental talent that she was, from sidewalk shows and cabaret gigs to being the headliner at the Paris Olympia concert hall. Among the people colouring her life were her father (Rouve), her caretaker (Seigner), her discoverer, (Depardieu), her manager, (Greggory), her lover Marcel (Martins) and her best friend (Testud) -but the greatest hue here imbued lay within the indomitable Piaf herself, who defiantly asks "What's the point of being Edith Piaf if I can't do what I want?"

Complaints for "La Mome" could be points on length, but biopics are about someone's lifetime after all -the better problem would be of rhythm because I was quite unsettled by the jumping back and forth between young Edith and old Edith.

Still, in Marion Cotillard we see the best female lead performance since Nicole Kidman in "The Hours". She embodied Piaf to a maddening perfection, acting everyone out of sight, Depardieu included, and you wouldn't recognise her from the temptress in the "Taxi" film series. Her jolting mimes were exceedingly convincing but wouldn't you be interested to know that Edith Piaf's real voice was used whenever possible because it was simply so inimitable!

Do I dare disclose that the ending took two teardrops out of me?

"La Mome" stretches and in many scenes, even reaches, but is disadvantaged by having too great a subject to truly capture, let alone cover. In that respect, strangely, you could even say the film is exactly like Edith, that it had a voice which will forever be greater than the body carrying it.

Cinema Online, 23 September 2008
   
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Classification
Effective 15 July 2011
G - Suitable for all ages
PG - Suitable for all ages, but parents should provide guidance to their young
PG13 - Suitable for persons aged 13 and above, but parental guidance is advised for children below 13
NC16 - Suitable for persons aged 16 years and above
M18 - Suitable for persons aged 18 years and above
R21 - Restricted to persons aged 21 and above only
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