Movies We've Just Watched discussion

Anyone seen La Vie en Rose?

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message 1: by Meg (last edited Mar 03, 2008 09:29AM) (new)

Meg (megvt) | 362 comments I thought this movie was great. I loved the way it went from present to past. The singing was great and so was the acting. Anyone else see it?

message 2: by Pat (new)

Pat | 24 comments I rented this before the Oscars and was so impressed with Marion's portrayal of Edith Piaf. I was only familiar with her name, not her life story and found in interesting and well done. Wasn't surprised at Cotilliard's eventual win.

message 3: by George (new)

George | 951 comments saw it on DVD. Marion's performance is absolutely top notch, she richly deserved the oscar. The movie is overlong for American audiences who weren't brought up to adore and worship Piaf, especially for any younger audience who have little or no idea who she was. There's nothing especially new or original about the film iteself. Skipping over WW2 is more than a bit strange as well.

message 4: by Claudine (new)

Claudine (cmmparks) | 4 comments This is the best movie of the year and certainly the best film on Piaf. Not totally correct, but what film like this is, really?

Marion's performance was so perfect that I forgot we were watching an actress, not the real thing. Brilliant.

Of course, if you love Piaf, then you'll love this film.

Hands down the best film of the year. Buy it!

message 5: by Judith (new)

Judith (jloucks) Is this film only available with subtitles?

It sounds wonderful otherwise!

message 6: by Kai (new)

Kai (ky02121) | 51 comments I had it in my netflix queue, but I removed it this weekend when I heard about Marie's 9/11 comments.

message 7: by Cathy Berry (new)

Cathy Berry (berrygirl55) | 30 comments When I saw this last summer I said, "this is the best actress Oscar performance". You never know how true biopics are, but I thought this was a compelling story with wonderful performances, direction,etc.

What were Marie's 9/11 comments? I obviously missed this.

message 8: by Jeni (new)

Jeni Donlon (spchwrtr) | 4 comments Marion Cotillard nailed it. I loved the way she even made herself small as Edith Piaf aged. I wasn't familiar with her, so I looked her up after I saw the movie. Couldn't believe the transformation from the young beauty to Piaf's crumpled, drug-dependent frame. The makeup was fantastic. The film itself was also very good, I thought. Don't let the subtitles stop you from watching it -- much of the film is in English.

message 9: by Reny (new)

Reny (renny3108yahoocom) | 7 comments I loved this movie!!

message 10: by Emanuel (new)

Emanuel I'm not Piaf's fan... I don't know anything about her before, but her name is always ringing...

"La vie en Rose" is the only song i know and i like by Piaf...(maybe, i should buy and listen other songs by her, hopefully i could deeply in-trance

The song has been re-sang by many singers, appeared in many movies as the soundtrack, example: "Love me if you dare" or "Jeux d'enfants" (Cotillard also there for the leading role), the song performed by Zazie (the one i like --> from the movie), Louis Armstrong, and Donna Summer. Recently, another french singer, Emile Simon sang it in techno (remix) style (and i still love it), i believe the song is everlasting... like The Sparrow herself...

The movie is amazing... Cottilard's WOW me... and my prediction upon her is doubtless, that she's going to be big and get the Oscar... she's fabulous as Piaf.


message 11: by Tina (new)

Tina | 4 comments This was the most amazing movie and Marion Cottilard was so convincing that you forgot it was her on the screen and not Piaf.

Edith Piaf faced adversities all of her life and she came out a very multi-dimensional person. Her talent though, was absolutely awesome.

This movie was exceptional! Check out the bonus DVD included which takes us behind the scenes of the making of the movie - you will see how much Marion went through to look like Piaf and she also talks about 'being' Piaf for the duration of filming.

An excellent movie for all!

message 12: by Manuel (new)

Manuel | 469 comments I was about to go to bed,
I noticed that I hadnt seen one of the DVDs I had rented which was due to go back in a day or two.
I figured I would pop it in and watch for a few minutes.

It was 2:00AM but I was hooked, I couldnt turn off the movie, I was so engrossed by the performance and the sad tragic life of Edith Piaf. To my horror, my DVD stopped working at the point where Marcel (the boxer) wins the fight.
I had to find out what happended, I then popped the DVD into my laptop.
I didnt get much sleep that night, but it was well worth it. I loved the movie very much.

Hard to believe Piaf died so young.
Just goes to show you what a life full of drink and drugs will do to you.

message 13: by Tom (new)

Tom | 5277 comments Manuel: Just goes to show you what a life full of drink and drugs will do to you.

It doesn't seem to have done G.W. Bush any particular harm.

message 14: by Alex DeLarge (new)

Alex DeLarge | 851 comments Here's my review written last year before the Oscars; my prediction was correct:)

LA MÔME (Olivier Dahan, 2007, France) I didn’t know much about Edith Piaf before watching this film. I’ve always found her voice to be sadly beautiful and connected to the passion in her songs…and I don’t understand a word of French! This is a very good film. The performances are top notch but I was most impressed by the direction; specifically Dahan’s use of the steadicam for long protracted lazy camera movements (very Kubrick-like) that embrace the characters intimately. The film’s structure jumps backwards and forwards in time which gives us an insight into Edith’s own fractured personality. Dahan’s uses of bleak subdued colors in her earlier years are in stark contrast to the oversaturated golden hues of her glory days. My only complaint is this: the film holds Edith Piaf in such iconic regard that we really never see her as a person; we see her only as she relates to her talent. I suppose this could be intentional because she probably could not separate the two but I thought the film a bit superficial. But one subdued moment really struck a true chord with me; as Edith sits alone on the beach knitting and we experience her away from the trappings of success. She is interviewed by a young reporter and Edith speaks mostly of love and flashes a brilliantly sublime smile…it was very touching and where the heart of this film beats. Marion Cotillard is able to rise above the sometimes mundane script and her brilliant performance should capture the Oscar. (B)

message 15: by Marc (new)

Marc (authorguy) | 318 comments Tom wrote: "It doesn't seem to have done G.W. Bush any particular harm.

It left him a useless neer-do-well who gets by only because his family and lots of wealthy friends support him. If he'd not been a Bush he'd be a janitor someplace.

message 16: by Manuel (new)

Manuel | 469 comments I find it interesting how Europeans and the French in particular, absorb and inbrace American cultural icons, much more than the other way around.

Americans seem to admire Piaf at arms length, sort of as a nice piece of porcelaine in a museum.
The first time she sang in the US after WWII, Americans didnt know what to make of her melodramatic songs and arm gestures. Americans were used to Bing Crosby and the Andrews Sisters, many audiences laughed or just got up and left. However she kept coming back and eventually made a small niche for herself, but it you ask most people on the street who she is; you will get a blank look......

message 17: by George (new)

George | 951 comments Well, the language thing is certainly one major issue. "Je ne regrette rien" doesn't have quite the same impact if je ne comprend rien. It's a lot to expect a bunch of GIs watching some strange artist emoting her rear end off and flapping her arms about for incomprehensible reasons. It's not like most of them were looking for some cultural exchange experience. how many people here won't even watch a foreign movie unless it's dubbed? I've known lots of folks who won't listen to foreign singers performing in other languages either. Americans are generally much more isolated from other languages and cultures than folks in most countries, and English is widely spoken and understood. Even the folks on our Northern Border speak English reasonably well except for the odd pronunciation here and there. Now, if we could just get our neighbors South of the Border to do the same, life here would be even sweeter.

message 18: by Manuel (new)

Manuel | 469 comments I think most Americans still find it a CHORE to go see non English movies. If they have to read subtitles they think the movie is not worth seeing.

We live in a world where most educated people will speak some English even if its not their native language, they have also grown up with, and have become familiar with American movie stars and singers and American pop culture in general.

Americans are most familiar with other English speaking countries: UK, Canada, Australia, but really wont bother much with other cultures or languages.

I know here on GoodReads there are many fans of European and Asian movies, but I dont think We/they represent the majority of Americans.

message 19: by Tom (new)

Tom | 5277 comments My one serious complaint about the film was the lack of subtitles for the song lyrics. Those songs were clearly being sung for a specific reason, it would have been nice to have a translation.

message 20: by Phillip (last edited Jan 15, 2009 02:52PM) (new)

Phillip | 10453 comments i liked this movie quite a lot - and was a fan of her music from long ago. i've played with some groups that do her songs and knew the material well. i thought the performance by cotillard was outstanding - what an incedible range. i was a little annoyed by the out of sequence chronology - i find filmmakers use it too often - but in this case i understood the narrative's fractured state was meant to resemble piaf's consciousness - and how it might have been to be her looking back over her life.

interesting to discuss americanization of pop culture - how it travels round the world and how we are less likely to embrace important figures from other cultures. i travel a lot playing music - mostly in europe, but also japan, south america, russia. yes - those folks speak english and know quite a lot about american culture - sometimes embarrassing lame aspects! when i lived in russia the tv show i saw on the box most often was jerry's that for a cultural ambassador? on my first trip to hungary in the late 1980's, i would meet little kids in the street who would ask me, "do you know michael jackson? do you know sylvester stallone?"

but you can talk about music on the bus with old folks in germany or in france, who seem to know a lot about american culture - much more so than we do here. this has been common since the 50's...just look at all those melville and goddard films - they are constantly commenting on and paying homage to american noir, etc. over the past few decades though, that has changed, especially in france - where they are trying more to celebrate their own rich culture. it has actually become harder and harder to find work there for myself and a lot of other americans i know who played there a lot more in the 80's and 90's.

music history is also an important part of european education - you can't say that is true in america. so they value culture, and respect it - here people mostly respect someone if they sell a lot of albums and make a lot of money. any person off the street in germany can tell you a lot about great german composers - can you find people on the street in america who know the music of charles ives or charles ruggles? or how about pauline oliveros?

ok, don't get me started....i'll stop ranting now.

message 21: by Alex DeLarge (new)

Alex DeLarge | 851 comments I enjoy your intelligent rants Phillip:) I am now researching Charles Ruggles...

message 22: by Phillip (last edited Jan 15, 2009 02:50PM) (new)

Phillip | 10453 comments he's one of the first people to compose for "prepared piano". there are many different approaches today, but the first examples (ruggles, cage, ives) were where composers stipulated certain items be placed inside the piano to create certain sonic effects. let's say i place a paperclip on the three strings that correspond to middle C...when the musician strikes that note on the piano, you get a kind of distorted sound, along with the "note". there are countless variations. john cage wrote an amazing suite of pieces for prepared piano.

ruggles' first important piece for this kind of performance was called "the banshee", and there are sounds when paper and other articles are scraped upon the strings and it sounds like a quiet scream, or wailing...meant to be evocative of the sound of a native warrior calling in battle.

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