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on 15 March 2017
This is a wonderful French biographical musical film about the life of French singer Édith Piaf. Spoken in French throughout, the DVD has very accurate subtitles and is easy to follow for non-French speakers. Lead actress Marion Cotillard won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance - she thoroughly deserved it.

Cotillard gives the performance of a lifetime to intriguingly portray the famous French singer. Covering many decades, the film depicts Cotillard representing a women of considerably different ages, from a teenager right up to the forty seven years that Piaf died at. However, as Piaf was so ill, Cotillard actually was made up to look at least twenty years older than this. It was a stunning achievement from the make-up team to recreate Cotillard to look as old as this, and she showed her full range as an actress - she is utterly convincing portraying the singer at every age.

Cotillard's overall performance is astounding. She brings so much emotion and realism to the part that you cannot help but believe she is Piaf. Her portrayal of Piaf's stage fright, raw sense of humour, vulnerability and energetic singing is breathtaking - and the constant manic use of her deep, dark wide eyes is totally convincing. And, her anguished reaction to the death of Marcel in an airplane crash is incredibly emotive and realistic. It is unlikely that any other actress could have matched the ferocity and intensity delivered by Cotillard.

The film charts the course of the life of Piaf, starting as a child, drifting into prostitution, and her starting to sing. Her father had abandoned her early in her life, but he returns to enter her into the world of show business, all-be-it accidentally as she gives an impromptu rendition of "La Marseillaise" on a street corner, and continues singing - eventually being noticed by a nightclub owner, and her career develops from there. As her life progresses she has alcohol and morphine addiction problems, as well as arthritis, which decimate her physical and mental state.

One potential weakness in the film is the continual jumping backwards and forwards in time, showing Piaf in old age, and going back to the past to unfold key events. Although it worked well at times, the director Olivier Dahan may have over-reached himself by time-traveling too often. At times, the flow and momentum of the film was interrupted and disjointed. This non-linear technique was applauded by many of the critics, but for me it was too much.

Overall, Cotillard's performance masks any flaws in the movie. It ends with Piaf dramatically performing "Non, je ne regrette rien" at the Olympia - a spine-tingling finale to a champagne performance.
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on 7 March 2017
I saw this a few years ago and was blown away by the movie. Marion Cotillard's role as Edith Piaf is astoundingly good! This is one of those rare movies which stay in your mind ages after you have seen it for the first time. The fact that it's a French movie takes nothing away and the subtitle translation is excellent. Now bought the dvd as whenever I have been asked the last few years which is my favourite movie of all time, I always say this one - even though not many people have seen it in the UK and most can't be bothered to watch a movie with subtitles. This movie is a bit of pure cinematic class!
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on 27 April 2015
I am not particularly a Piaff fan, though I am not in the anti- camp either. As regards Marion Cotillard I have seen her in several films and thought her pleasing enough, without her being a major talent. This film changed that.
There seems some controversy about the period 1939-45 being skimmed over in this film, unfairly to my mind. What you have is a bio-pic covering EP's early life and eventual end, yes there is a significant gap. If it were to be filled it would double the length of the piece. It could (fairly) amount to a film on its own, subject to significant controversy and detracting from this story. Either film would doubtless be worthy, but the other would not be this one, nor could it provide half the magic.
Foreign-language performances seldom get nominated for an Oscar, and almost never win. This one did, and with good reason. MC's performance as Piaff is truly great and thoroughly convincing, if she never got a single further part she could rest content on her laurels. The other Oscar awarded for makeup was well deserved and adds to the strength of MC's performance.
At approximately 140 minutes this film is longer than many but it is well worth setting aside an evening (allow a bit of resting time after, you are likely to need it) and the music alone is worth the admission price.
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on 25 June 2016
This Blu-ray version of La Vie En Rose is the second I have bought. Unlike the other version bought through uniqueplace-uk [Reviewed elsewhere] this version has English subtitles. Both versions of the movie have very good picture and sound quality. I myself remember Edith Piaf and enjoyed this part fictional version of her life story. Some of the songs are sung in full but not all which is a bit disappointing. The other minor niggle I have is the fact they do not tell the story in linear form but keep flashing back and forth, I myself would have like it better told in a start to finish form. None the less I recommend this movie to anybody who remembers Edith Piaf.
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on 19 April 2011
I have always been a fan of Edith Piaf, and my main criticism of this film by Oliver Dahan, is that most of her great vocal performances are cut short. Obviously for dramatic purposes the major events of her life are highlighted, but it seems much is omitted, like her days with the Companions de le Chanson which produced some major successes.
Marion Cotillard portrays the mature Piaf powerfully with harrowing desparation, especially when she loses the great love of her life, Boxing Champion Marcel Cerdan (Jean-Pierre Martins) who was killed in a plane crash, leaving also a wife and two small children. Edith's decline into alcoholism, and bodily failure is indicated, and her fighting spirit to conquer her audience and her own demons, with one last concert at the Olympia de Paris is the ultimate drama of a woman with immense talent, but with a personal life always in turmoil. Piaf had a deep pool of emotion to vocalise.
Manon Chevallier portrays Edith aged 5, when an infection left her temporarily blind. Torn from the care of a Madame, and from her alcoholic Mother by her Father (Pascal Greggory) she accompanied him as a street performer, and captivated audiences at the age of 10, as portrayed by Pauline Burlet.
Gerard Depardier plays the role of Louis Lapido, a fairly good class club owner who takes her from the street and begins to groom her for stardom. His kindness is repaid by death at the hands of a Pimp mob, and Edith is down again-her marriage and the loss of her baby daughter is briefy indicated, untill she is saved by a friend of Louis Lapido - Louis Gassion (Jean-Paul Rouve) who apparently gave her Boot Camp treatment which led her to international fame.
The colour is good, glossy for her days of success and celebration, and gloomy for the misery and hardship, with excellent sound. It is a French language film with English subtitles, which gives the air of authenticity.
A recurring theme throughout the film seems to sum up this dramatic portrayal of the 'Little Sparrow'- "if you love me really love me, then whatever happens darling, I won't care---".
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on 29 July 2017
This is an absolutely amazing film. It is easy to see why Marion Cottilard won the Academy Award for Best Actress, the BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role, the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress and César Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role for her role. I am not one to watch a film over and over again but this is a film which you can watch endlessly and find something different every time. Marion Cottilard's portrayal of Édith Piaf is second to none.

The cinematography is superb. The score amazing, Costume superb and makeup fabulous. Again it is evident to see why the film won both a Bafta award and Academy Award for best makeup. Bafta Award for costume design, film music and five César awards to boot.

I highly recommend this film. One of the best films of all time.
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on 18 March 2008
The pluses:
Marion Cotillard - a sensational performance as the grown-up Piaf. The Oscar was entirely deserved.
Manon Chevallier & Pauline Burlet as Piaf as a child. I was amazed at how good these kids were. Absolutely incredible.
Indeed, the whole ensemble were very good.
The atmosphere and period settings of France from WW1 to the early sixties.

The minuses:
Not enough music - I could have done with a little more of Piaf's ravishing voice.
The timeshifts - it hopped around all over the place and by the time I got my bearings in one scene I was having to readjust for the next scene. Not sure it was necessary to hop about. Indeed think it may have been better (with one or two exceptions) to have had a more linear approach.

Overall:
Well worth watching. Definitely a keeper - will watch this again every now and then.
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on 15 June 2015
Marion Cotillard becomes Piaf, a physical likeness that is uncanny in its realism (one wonders if she can ever play another part without conjuring up Piaf's image), and her emotional connection to Piaf's music is total. Her song performances are absolutely flawless, as are her gestures, and the only clue that she is lip-synching is the unmistakable Piaf voice that emerges from her mouth. Louis Leplee (Gerard Depardieu), the nightclub owner whose murder by organized crime draws Edith in for questioning, shows the genuine care he has for Edith and the tough face of a man who has seen and done it all.
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on 16 October 2017
Loved this film. Cotillard gives a great performance. Only thing is they seem to realise halfway through that they haven't told you a lot about Edith's life and a lot of facts are chucked in at the end. I actually googled her halfway through as I didn't know a lot about her.
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on 17 April 2009
After watching this film I sat for a few minutes in wonderment. It makes you think. She was a live wire, yes, but did she deserve the "friends" she had. So few gave and so many took. What an amazing life she led and how tragic.I loved the film but regret the life she had despite her rendering of No Regrets at the end.(Try to go for the French as it doesnt equate acurately to the English subtitles).
Unlike my fellow reviewers I found the "jumping about" an excellent way of emphasising periods of her life.It also forced the eye to focus on some of the horrors.
Of course, the acting was amazing ... I don't think I need to harp on about that as everyone else has already said it.All I can do is agree.
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