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Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life (2010)

Gainsbourg (Vie héroïque) (original title)
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A glimpse at the life of French singer Serge Gainsbourg, from growing up in 1940s Nazi-occupied Paris through his successful song-writing years in the 1960s to his death in 1991 at the age of 62.

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Writers:

(graphic novel), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
7 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Bambou
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Lucien Ginsburg
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Joseph Ginsburg (le père)
Dinara Drukarova ...
Olga Ginsburg (la mère) (as Dinara Droukarova)
Philippe Katerine ...
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Elisabeth Levizky
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Ophélia Kolb ...
Le Modèle
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Le Producteur Musique de Gainsbourg
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Storyline

Lucien Ginsburg, a rebellious French Jewish boy with a grotesque imagination, hates playing the piano like his father, a bar professional, and manages to be admitted to Montmartre Academy as a painter, where he befriends an SS officer who helps him survive the occupation. After the war, he chooses to become a performing artist and adopts the stage name Serge Gainsbourg. His unorthodox songs bring him success, even his parents's approval, and lots of lovers, yet his marriages are all utter failures. Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

boy | 1960s | song | singer | jewish | See All (65) »

Genres:

Biography | Drama | Music

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Details

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Release Date:

20 January 2010 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

£135,031 (UK) (30 July 2010)

Gross:

$230,311 (USA) (9 December 2011)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

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Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Last film that new wave director Claude Chabrol was ever involved in. He plays the record producer with a big cigar. See more »

Goofs

The young Gainsbourg is shown drawing left-handed, but the adult Gainsbourg becomes right-handed. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Lucien Ginsburg: Can I put your hand in mine?
Girl: No, you're too ugly.
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Crazy Credits

"Pour Lucy" i.e. this was Lucy Gordon 's last film. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Code Blue (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Intoxicated Man
Written and originally performed by Serge Gainsbourg
Performed by Philippe Katerine (uncredited) and Eric Elmosnino
© 1962 - Warner Chapell Music France
Melody Nelson Publishing
(P) 2010 - One World Films
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
a surreal version of an uncommon life
16 April 2010 | by See all my reviews

I did watch this film in it's premiere in Athens, at the festival of Franchophone films.I liked the movie which incorporated many surreal and fantasy elements in the linear narrative of the life of the hero. He had an alter ego, which was the substantiation of a childhood fantasy which always tried to tempt him to follow the broad path that led to riches, fame, sex and power. He followed the advice of his evil other self and he became the public icon we know from history and the media. Emphasis is also given to his Jewishness and his courage to manifest it before collaborationist authorities as a young boy.

Excepting the marked surreal elements which the director in an introductory speech attributed to the fact that he is also a comic strip creator, the film emphasizes what we already know, that is his incessant womanizing, publicity seeking and studied provocative stance, culminating in his memorable if controversial rendering of the Marselleise-the French national anthem-in a reggae music version and a refrain that was full of irony.

The sometimes overemphasized description of his rampant sexuality drove some of the audience out of the theatre as did the depiction of his reggae version of the French national anthem. But this was obviously an overreaction due either to ignorance or desire to cut a figure. If you had the slightest idea of who Gainsbourgh was, you would not be expecting anything else from a movie dedicated to his life story.

Because Gainsbough was prone to the pleasures of the flesh with women famous or ordinary, many impressive actresses such as Laetitia Casta and Anna Muglalis appear in the movie portraying the gorgeous women he had affairs with. The whole impression you form is that he had been a anti-authoritarian bobo(bourgeois-Boheme) before this term had been invented.

There is also a sensitive depiction of his relationship with his parents, which was closer and more intimate than one would expect from a man who had such an obvious (real or affected) grudge towards authority.The actresses play convincingly the women of his life, who were glamorous and sexy. In the end one is left with the question whether such a life is enviable and worthy of emulation or example to avoid. whichever answer each one reaches, as a spectacle it is surely interesting to see.


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