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Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life (2010)
"Gainsbourg (Vie héroïque)" (original title)

6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 7,445 users   Metascore: 58/100
Reviews: 26 user | 121 critic | 26 from Metacritic.com

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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Title: Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life (2010)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
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Bambou
...
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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
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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 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 KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

boy | 1960s | song | singer | jewish | See All (66) »

Genres:

Biography | Drama | Music

Certificate:

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Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

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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)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (recut)

Sound Mix:

|

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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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 »

Connections

Featured in De wereld draait door: Episode #5.128 (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Je Bois
Written by Boris Vian and Alain Goraguer
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

 
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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