Biopic of the iconic French singer Édith Piaf. Raised by her grandmother in a brothel, she was discovered while singing on a street corner at the age of 19. Despite her success, Piaf's life was filled with tragedy.
An un-chronological look at the life of the Little Sparrow, Édith Piaf (1915-1963). Her mother is an alcoholic street singer, her father a circus performer, her paternal grandmother a madam. During childhood she lives with each of them. At 20, she's a street singer discovered by a club owner who's soon murdered, coached by a musician who brings her to concert halls, and then quickly famous. Constant companions are alcohol and heartache. The tragedies of her love affair with Marcel Cerdan and the death of her only child belie the words of one of her signature songs, "Non, je ne regrette rien." The back and forth nature of the narrative suggests the patterns of memory and association.Written by
Marion Cotillard is astounding in this film! I am not easy to please as I used to perform as a Piaf impersonator so Piaf's life and music are very close to my heart, but I found Cotillard utterly convincing. She really brings out Piaf's combination of vulnerability and bloody-minded determination as well as her fiery temperament. I spent most of the film in tears, but that's because I'm too soppy for my own good! I knew Piaf's life-story well but I still found the structure of the film and the way it leaps about in time a little confusing. It's true that it was difficult to understand Piaf's relationship with her friends and that Theo Sarapo was left out of the story. Apart from one line when Edith asks for him on her death bed, he doesn't feature, even though as her last husband he looked after her and significantly improved her final years. They even performed duets together eg. 'A quoi ca sert l'amour?' and this was totally left out of the story. There were a lot of scenes of Edith in Grasse looking frail and close to death. Would it have been so difficult to include a scene with Theo? The story about Marcelle seemed like a bit of an afterthought too. To be honest, I would have preferred a more chronological approach to Edith's life but I still thoroughly enjoyed the film and I can't praise Cotillard's performance enough. The other actors were also excellent. Despite by criticisms it is still a must-see!
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