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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 painter, where he befriends an SS officer who helps him survive he 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
This is not the first attempt to bring a film about the life of Serge Gainsbourg to the screen, but as of 2010 is the only one the family has permitted, due to Sfar's fairytale take on Gainsbourg. Sfar revealed the family wanted to protect Gainsbourg's secrets. See more »
The young Gainsbourg is shown drawing left-handed, but the adult Gainsbourg becomes right-handed. See more »
This is a lively and inventive bio-pic, if a little over long .
This is a film that makes no bones about the ultimate squandering of Serge Gainsbourg's talents in a drink - induced decline but at the same time shows the creative and cultural force that his very surname still brings to mind for most French people . The movie brings out particularly well the smoky atmosphere of jazz clubs and gigs where the young Serge first plied his musicality in the 1950s. The phases of his life, from young Jewish boy in occupied France through his creative life and personal life ( for instance )amours with such as Brigitte Bardot and Jane Birkin in the 1960s are dizzily but effectively handled . There is some attempt by Director Sfar to portray Gainsbourg , in late career , as something of an anti- intolerance man of principle but the overall impression given is of an imaginative , somewhat amoral figure whose life was ultimately an example of artistic decline and hedonistic self-indulgence . The film is rather long but, overall , sustains interest well . The main roles are all played well by the actors ,including the female leads Laetitia Casta and the late Lucy Gordon , and the cartoon - like features of the movie , such as Serge's giant alter-ego , impressionistically contribute something positive to the story . Viewers from Anglophone countries who will best remember Gainsbourg as the singing half of the 1969 heavy- breathing pop hit " Je t'aime moi non plus " may still leave the cinema wondering what really was the artistic importance of Serge . Yet they will nonetheless , on the strength of this bio-pic , carry away an image of the principal character as an unforgettable personality .French people , on the other hand , who already regard him as a cultural icon and , in their terms ,as a genius will not need this movie to make up their minds about Serge Gainsbourg .
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