Jeremie Rénier's performance is a true tour De force ;his portrayal of the late singer is nothing short of exceptional and compares favorably with that of Marion Cotillard as Edith Piaf.
The problem is that,unlike Piaf ,François can't be seriously considered an artist with a genuine creativity to offer:80% of his songbook are covers :the Everly Bros,the early Beatles,the Angels,John Hartford,Barry McGuire (and Ryan) ,Jackie De Shannon,Tom Paxton,Pete Seger,the four Tops,the Temptations,the Bee Gees ,the Hollies,the Four Seasons ,Georgie Fame,Sonny Curtis and even English traditional ballads such as "Geordie",the list is endless :that's why the movie insists on "Comme D'Habitude" ,the singer's only international claim to fame :translated into English by Paul Anka as "my way",it was covered by Sinatra,Elvis and countless others ;to be honest,one should add that another Clo-Clo song "Parce Que Je T'Aime Mon Infant"was also covered by Elvis.There were more originals in the seventies ,although" Dix-Sept Ans" ,which is heard at the beginning ,is Janis Ian's 1975 smash hit "at seventeen" which remained unknown over here .
In the movie ,the singer appears as a selfish ,moody ,unsympathetic,jealous (don't they give the best American songs to Johnny?) character;his relationship with the other singers of the era is passed over in silence (just one hint at Hallyday and "Salut Les Copains " the magazine which was the ye-ye boys and girls bible ;only France GAll appears ,and only because she had a love affair with him circa 1965:the Eurovision Contest phone call is reportedly accurate ,but Gall said that she could not see any likeness between her and the "shrew " of the "Comme D'Habitude" song ,supposedly depicting their breakup .
If you were a boy in a sixties ,Clo-Clo is certainly a nice memory (the original American and English songs were mostly unknown here and in his way , Clo-Clo introduced us to them and I was a fan then );but as a adult,you might find this MOR music futile and forgettable .
But,I say it again:"hats off to Mr Rénier"
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