La Vie En Rose

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +2

Content: +1/2

Marion Cotillard, Sylvi Testud Pacal Greggory, Emmanuelle Seigener, Jan-Paul Rouve, Clotidlde Courau, Gerard Depardieu. Written & directed by Oliver Dahan. Biography.

FILM SYNOPSIS: An impressionistic portrait of legendary chanteuse Edith Piaf, the film explores the singers rise to fame, despite tragedies and drug addiction. Known as La Mome Piaf (The Little Sparrow), Piafs life mirrored that of Judy Garland and Billie Holiday. Piaf remains, however, one of Frances icons, her voice one of the indelible signatures of the 20th Century.

PREVIEW REVIEW: A powerful performance from the diminutive Marion Cotillard highlights this otherwise overwrought production of Edith Piafs life. Born into poverty, raised in a bordello, yanked away from a loving surrogate mother, forced to perform as a child to earn eating money, injured in a car accident that leaves her bent over and addicted to pills, finally finding true love, alas with a married family man who is killed in a plane crash, Piaf suffered a life with more ups and downs than Garland and Holiday combined. The nonlinear story is so wrought with tragedy that by films end, one wishes for the days of such musicals as The Sound of Music or even Funny Girl.

At one point as a child, Edith sees a vision, a Saint Theresa, who promises to look after her. This seems to be her main connection to spiritual matters, until she seeks a psychic in order to make contact with her dead lover. This, as you can imagine, doesnt do her much good.

One cant watch the film without realizing that life is full of challenges and bitter-sweetness. Even the rich and famous are unable to escape problems. And no matter how much they obtain, theres just a little more outside their reach. Conclusion: Life is about more than gaining the whole world or even the little cottage with the white picket fence. Life is a fleeting moment in time, an obstacle course filled with mountains and valleys. And each obstacle we face has to do with character development and faith.

Im not all that sure many will discern that philosophy as Im not all the sure it was the directors intent. Its just something Im reminded of whenever I see characters on the silver screen dealing with adversity. No matter who you are, problems are unavoidable. Theyre meant to be a part of the life experience and give evidence that there is more to our stay here than obtaining self-glory.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: A couple of crude sexual innuendos and several scenes take place in a bordello.

Obscene Language: Four or five obscenities (mostly the s-word) and a handful of minor expletives.

Profanity: I caught no misuse of Gods name.

Violence: We learn of a plane crash that takes the life of Piafs lover; a car crash occurs off camera. A boxing match is portrayed.

Sex: One sex scene, but it is brief as the camera passes the door, we see two bodies under blankets.

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Some discreet sexual conversation.

Drugs: Lots of alcohol and it is apparent that the lead is drug addicted.

Other: We see a sick woman vomit.

Running Time: 140 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

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