Wednesday, 25 November 2009

La Môme (2007) @ La Vie En Rose

At a glance:
Some years ago I discovered a CD left lyin on top of a pile of garbage outside a charity shop in Crookes, Sheffield. I fell in love with the music ever since and today find myself reviewin this film, a grand biopic of the talent and the tragedy that was, and forever is, Édith Piaf - widely regarded as the greatest singer ever in French history and someone that nobody ought to be embarrassed for gushin over. But this review isn't about me. It's about Édith. 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 Édith bein 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 that delivered La Vie En Rose? The film brings you all this inside 140 minutes of sorrow and song, which will feel either too long or too short dependin on your attention span for somethin 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 Édith (Marion Cotillard) survive an impossibly difficult childhood to grow into the monumental talent that she was, from sidewalk shows and cabaret gigs to bein the headliner at the Paris Olympia concert hall. Among the people colourin her life were her father (Jean-Paul Rouve), her caretaker (Emmanuelle Seigner), her discoverer, (Gérard Depardieu), her manager, (Pascal Greggory), her lover Marcel (Jean-Pierre Martins) and her best friend (Sylvie Testud) - but the greatest hue here imbued lay within the indomitable Piaf herself, who defiantly asks "What’s the point of being Édith Piaf if I can't do what I want?"
Bad news on the doorstep:
Complaints for La Môme could be on points on length, but biopics are about someone’s lifetime after all. The better problem would be of rhythm because some may be quite unsettled by the jumpin back and forth between young Édith and old Édith.
Reminds me of:
Frida, Queen Margot, What’s Love Got To Do With It?
Watch out for:
In Marion Cotillard we see the best female lead performance since Nicole Kidman in The Hours. She embodied Piaf to a maddenin perfection, actin everyone out of sight, Depardieu included, and you wouldn’t recognise her from the perky-titted temptress in the Taxi film series. Her joltin mimes were exceedingly convincin but wouldn’t you be interested to know that Édith Piaf’s real voice was used whenever possible because it was simply so inimitable! For this performance, Cotillard took a BAFTA, a César Award and a Golden Globe, not to mention she became the first actress to win an Oscar for a French language performance.
Amacam joker, berapa bintang lu mau kasi?
Do I dare disclose that the endin took two teardrops out of me? La Môme stretches and in many scenes, even reaches, but is disadvantaged by havin too great a subject to truly capture, let alone cover. In that respect, strangely, you could even say the film is exactly like Édith, that it had a voice which will forever be greater than the body carryin it. However, it was always a film that needed to be made. Non, je ne regrette rien.