Biopic of the iconic French singer Édith Piaf. Raised by her grandmother in a brothel, she was discovered while singing on a street corner at the age of 19. Despite her success, Piaf's life was filled with tragedy.
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An un-chronological look at the life of the Little Sparrow, Édith Piaf (1915-1963). Her mother is an alcoholic street singer, her father a circus performer, her paternal grandmother a madam. During childhood she lives with each of them. At 20, she's a street singer discovered by a club owner who's soon murdered, coached by a musician who brings her to concert halls, and then quickly famous. Constant companions are alcohol and heartache. The tragedies of her love affair with Marcel Cerdan and the death of her only child belie the words of one of her signature songs, "Non, je ne regrette rien." The back and forth nature of the narrative suggests the patterns of memory and association. Written by
Just before the scene where a young soldier plays a song for Edith in her apartment, a supertitle reads "February 1940." The magazine "Paris Match" is on the coffee table. Paris Match was founded in 1949. See more »
[after hearing "Je ne regrette rien" for the first time]
You're marvelous! This is exactly what I've been waiting for! It's incredible! It's me! That's my life, it's me.
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It is a crime that most people in America do not know of Piaf or her music. Or if they do it is thanks to the Grace Jones version of LA VIE EN ROSE (which is not half bad).
Marion Cotillard as Piaf was a dream to watch... particularly when she played the older Piaf. Her pain, her loss came through exquisitely. And even the two actresses who played Piaf earlier in life were excellent. The director - Olivier Dahan - has been criticized (and rightly so) in other postings. But in the case of the 3 Piafs he has done his job well, creating the full character of the woman.
And for me the highlight was toward the end when Piaf sings NON,JE NE REGRETTE RIEN (NO REGRETS). The song written for Piaf is a summation of the film and her life. And for the first time in a VERY long time, I actually had tears on my face in a cinema.
That alone is a very high recommendation.
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