marion cotillard’s performance as edith piaf in the biopic ‘la vie en rose’ is one of the most disturbing and real i’ve seen. i knew very little about this woman’s life before i saw the movie; afterward, if the film is to be believed, i was reminded of the proverbial view of the artist as a person who is aching on the inside, in desperation to produce something that will achieve public recognition. the personal tragedies that seemed to colonise piaf’s life, from her beginnings, raised in a brothel, to losing a child, a lover, and her physical well-being, are related in an unconventional and ultimately quite brilliant cinematic style – choppy narrative, alternately sweeping and staccato photography, and of course incomparable music. at the end of the film, cotillard as piaf sings ‘je ne regrette rien’. i’ll never smile at that song again.
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