The treasure of this mixed success is, of course, the voice of Edith Piaf. It is teased gently in the first half of the film when we only hear her singing to herself as she performs maid service in the small town hotel she works in. And again later, in a muted, grainy, tone, through the earphones of a sound engineer on the set of a movie she has been hired to dub. He can't believe what he's hearing. But we don't get to hear it for ourselves, yet. But then finally we do hear/experience her amazing voice, in it's full, sonorous, texture (once) in that same "movie within a movie". Then again at a concert rehearsal where she demonstrates why she became an icon with a rendition of a love story gone wrong and a decent into madness.
The finale of the film is an eerie foreshadowing of the short tragic life Piaf would live. We are left with an unshakable image of her hiding beneath the stairwell of the music hall after a disastrous debut, shaken, defeated, and haunted. No one could have done this better than her. Even without signing a note.
I didn't personally like the songs chosen for her in this film. And if you're looking to re-live "La Vie en Rose" in black and white, move on. This won't do it for you. But if you are interested in a very good performance, created around the voluminous talent of Edith Piaf, you will not be disappointed. Warts and all, I recommend this film! It gets a 10 from me for the unexpectedly brilliant performance by Piaf.