6.9/10
8,094
27 user 128 critic

Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life (2010)

Gainsbourg (Vie héroïque) (original title)
Trailer
1:26 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

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.

Director:

Writers:

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

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Animation | Comedy | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Set in Algeria in the 1920s, a rabbi's cat who learns how to speak after swallowing the family parrot expresses his desire to convert to Judaism.

Directors: Antoine Delesvaux, Joann Sfar
Stars: Mathieu Amalric, François Damiens, Karina Testa
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

When their young son is diagnosed with a brain tumor, young parents Roméo and Juliette unite in the fight for his survival.

Director: Valérie Donzelli
Stars: Valérie Donzelli, Jérémie Elkaïm, César Desseix
My Way (2012)
Biography | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A biopic of French pop star Claude Francois, most famous for co-writing the song 'My Way'. Tracing his life from childhood in Egypt through success in France to his untimely death in Paris in 1978.

Director: Florent-Emilio Siri
Stars: Jérémie Renier, Benoît Magimel, Monica Scattini
Pirate TV (2012)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  
Director: Michel Leclerc
Stars: Félix Moati, Eric Elmosnino, Sara Forestier
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Two estranged brothers, traveling in a classically restored Morgan convertible, are obliged to deliver their father's ashes to his hometown in Calabria. Genziano (co-writer Marco Bonini) ... See full summary »

Director: Edoardo Leo
Stars: Marco Bonini, Edoardo Leo, Sabrina Impacciatore
Polisse (2011)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A journalist covering police assigned to a juvenile division enters an affair with one of her subjects.

Director: Maïwenn
Stars: Karin Viard, Joey Starr, Marina Foïs
Comedy | Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

The story of a 19th century English music hall (vaudeville) performer and life behind the scenes.

Director: Alberto Cavalcanti
Stars: Tommy Trinder, Stanley Holloway, Betty Warren
The Island I (2011)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

Sophie and Daneel, both in their early thirties, are a close and passionate couple living in Paris. Sophie initiates a surprise journey to Bulgaria... See full synopsis »

Director: Kamen Kalev
Stars: Laetitia Casta, Thure Lindhardt, Bertille Chabert
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A near-fatal accident leaves one friend in the hospital while the rest go on their annual vacation. But their secrets and personal grief threaten to drive them apart.

Director: Guillaume Canet
Stars: François Cluzet, Marion Cotillard, Benoît Magimel
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Mrs. Gallienne, a rather temperamental upper middle-class lady, has three children, two of whom she considers as her sons and another she calls Guillaume. Logically indeed, the latter ... See full summary »

Director: Guillaume Gallienne
Stars: Guillaume Gallienne, André Marcon, Françoise Fabian
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A bigoted Frenchman finds himself forced to impersonate a popular rabbi while on the run from a group of assassins - and the police.

Director: Gérard Oury
Stars: Louis de Funès, Miou-Miou, Suzy Delair
The Barons (2009)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Somewhere in modern-day Brussels, Hassan, Aziz and Mounir are three friends who lead a life of pleasant apathy. Calling themselves 'Les Barons', they spend their days loafing around in ... See full summary »

Director: Nabil Ben Yadir
Stars: Nader Boussandel, Mourade Zeguendi, Mounir Ait Hamou
Edit

Cast

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

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 (61) »

Genres:

Biography | Drama | Music

Certificate:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

| |

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)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (recut)

Sound Mix:

|

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The scene in the film where Serge Gainsbourg asks France Gall if she would like him to write her a 'dirty song' and then describes a song about a girl who loves sucking lollipops references the song "Les Sucettes" which he wrote for Gall in 1966. France Gall didn't initially understand the lyric's double-meanings and was appalled when it was pointed out after the song's widespread popularity and still refuses to sing it to this day. 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.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

References La Piscine (1969) See more »

Soundtracks

Je Bois
Written by Boris Vian and Alain Gorger
Originally performed by Boris Vian
Performed by Philippe Katerine (avec l'aimable autorisation de Barclay)
Courtesy of MCA Records
© 1956 - Warner Chapell Music France
(P) 2010 - One World Films
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Biopic that sort of works
1 August 2010 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

As an Englishman I didn't have as much of an idea of Serge Gs career as most of the previous critics here, so a lot of this film was pretty educational. However, it wasn't a literal biopic by any means, using the cartoon characters alongside Serge (quite well, I thought) and the latter half of his life (I didn't realise when or whether he'd died until I'd read one of your reviewers!) seemed to tail off into nothing, even more than his increasing physical degradation was suggesting.

I found the emphasis on his sexual groundbreaking and role as a general iconoclast a bit similar to the film "Mesrine" which came out a year or two back - a similar time period was covered in that - masses of smoke and sexism! The actresses playing Jane Birkin and Juliette Greco are good (especially Jane Bs English/French accent) but "Brigitte Bardot" less so, and the scenes with her do go on a bit (although some of the poses are meant to correspond with real Bardot roles like "Et Dieu Crea La Femme" and "La Mepris".

The music fits in well with the film and, surprisingly - with the film making style - the intrusion of early 1960s loud pop, and of reggae, is quite a shock to the system, as it is intended to be, and was at the time. Perhaps I'm missing some of the French references, but in general the milieu Gainsbourg moved in might not be best served by a "straight" biopic with a Nicholas Cage-type performance, but the surrealist cartoons do detract from the picture we get of Serge - and believe me, it's not that easy to like him! I wasn't that keen on the precocious young boy stage of his life either - a bit too "that's the French way boys grow up" all very pre-Simone de Beauvoir.

Anyway shouldn't carp too long - I was glad I saw it and a lot will stay with me, although I'll remember the Django-type guitar playing possibly longer than the (apparently rather few) Gainsbourg songs which graced the soundtrack.


10 of 14 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Gypsy guitarist bloovee
US release?? jordandenoce
YES YES YES amscob
australia? hellokittyspeedboat
Trailer Music Griever28
Compared to Sex and Drugs and Rock and Roll... MaryLouStalin
Discuss Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life (2010) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?