Critic Reviews



Based on 26 critic reviews provided by
While an iconic figure in France, Gainsbourg isn't a household name here in the States. But that shouldn't stop audiences from enjoying Sfar's good-looking, fanciful film.
Both evocative and faithful in its depiction of the famed French singer's lascivious life, "Gainsbourg (vie heroique)" offers up a feast of memorable chansons and an almost endless parade of drop-dead-gorgeous muses.
Slant Magazine
Handsomely mounted and shot with an eye for nocturnal Parisian mystery by Guillaume Schiffman, Gainsbourg somewhat mercifully peters out after the grande scandale of the provocateur's reggae version of "La Marseillaise," which earned him the wrath of French patriots.
Boxoffice Magazine
Despite its ultimate lack of profundity, Gainsbourg is certain to still be a sufficiently engaging and meaningful experience to enthrall the initiated while stimulating the curiosity of the uninitiated.
Eric Elmosnino is terrific as the louche French icon in Joann Sfar's vivid biopic. Shame about that second hour.
What's surprising, and ultimately disappointing, about Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life is the degree to which Sfar allows biopic obligations to smother his more whimsical instincts.
The movie is too much an act of hero-worship for there to be any critical distance.
The puppets and the music make Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life engaging, but it is also visually hectic and lacks either the dramatic intensity or the arresting insight that might have lifted it out of the pedestrian realm of the admiring biopic.
Village Voice
The movie turns terminally wearisome and even anti-climactic with the triumph of the brain-lodging "Je T'aime" (which, alone among the movie's numbers, is heard in its original version) and Gainsbourg's descent into alcoholic dissolution.
Despite the attention the film pays to the divide between the man as the ungainly, loving second-gen immigrant versus the boozy provocateur, it's not a portrait of much psychological depth.

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