Thanks to the law of 1948 and to her grandmother, the nominal tenant who is always absent, Francesca Cigalone and all her tribe (thoughtless husband, orphan sister, self-centered film maker... See full summary »
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
Serge Gainsbourg was many things: an artist, writer, painter, alcoholic and lover to many. He is a fascinating man who lead a fascinating life and director Joann Sfar makes a great effort here to portray it all. From the early days prior to WWII Gainsbourg was clearly going to amount to something. As he grew older and dabbled here and there in various art forms and dabbled in various women with lovers including Bridgette Bardot and Jane Birkin. Yet as he grew older Gainsbourg dabbled in more drink and drugs and this led to a troubled life.
I was to begin with fascinated by this man, full of charm and wit and ideas abounding. Yet as the film progressed I felt less and less concerned by this man and began wondering when the film might end. As interesting he was, he was also not the nicest of characters, especially in his latter years when he appears to be a drunk and grumpy man. The little touches of fantasy work well to begin with, Gainsbourg's 'imaginary friend' is interesting, but then becomes more and more grotesque and yet more annoying and often blurs the line between realism and surrealism.
Ultimately this has enough to provide an interesting account of someone who had a very full life, but for me it lost it's way part way through and therefore lost it's momentum.
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