Jun 27, 2010

La Vie en rose

I find myself being less and less able to appreciate contemporary works of French cinema, especially in regards to their more popular films. La Vie en rose is a film that has slightly rejuvenated my interest in froggy works, but I owe the lovely Marion Cotillard the most credit for my extremely pleasant experience with the motion picture. She is a woman that may have froggy eyes, but also some of the most appealing of eyes that I have had the luxury of experiencing cinematically in sometime. Marion Cotillard also happens to look enough like Edith Piaf for her performance in La Vie en rose to by exceptionally believable. Not since Val Kilmer’s performance in Oliver Stone’s The Doors as Jim Morrison have I seen an actor magically capture the power and charisma of a singer.

One of my favorite actresses of all time is Giuletta Masina. People have often compared Masina’s comic acting performances to the female equivalent of Charlie Chaplin. I consider that a fair assertion, although naturally Masina’s big eyes are much more pleasurable to look at in comparison to Chaplin’s dirty Sanchez moustache. Marion Cotillard’s performance in La Vie en rose echoes back to the days of Giuletta Masina’s heartwarmingly cute performances in films like La Strada. In fact, during the whole experience of La Vie en rose I could not get enough of Ms. Cotillard. It is very hard to find a woman that is genuinely funny (or a man for that matter), but even harder to find a woman that is both funny and cute. Not that I care for Academy Awards or anything, but Marion Cotillard without question deserved the Oscar she received for her performance (the first ever given for a French-language performance).

Edith Piaf certainly deserves her cultural icon status as France’s greatest popular singer. Like your typical modern day Frenchman, Piaf was a mixture of ethnic backgrounds, certainly no Huguenot. Piaf’s rise from the gutter was to her talent’s advantage, giving rise to an organic emotional voice that lacked any type of pretension, going against the French stereotype of unwarranted cultural arrogance. In La Vie en rose, Marion Cotillard is her most passionate when swooning over her French Algerian boxer boyfriend Marcel. Edith has not interest in psycho-babbling over existentialism or rambling about New Left politics, she just wants to sing and party. She may have been friends with the great poet Jean Cocteau and other important French culture figures, yet that never seemed to inflate her ego. Even when Marion Cotillard as Edith Piaf has aged and stars looking fairly decrepit, she still expresses the same spunk that made her magical in the first place.

La Vie en rose is one of the few contemporary French films worth watching multiple times. The film is also evidence that a French film does not have to feature decadent and nihilistic sex for it to be notable. The sex appeal of Marion Cotillard permeates throughout without the actress having to shred a layer of clothing. I cannot express how boring nudity has gotten in cinema, especially in Europeans films, an unflattering post-ww2 result of the European film industries having to prostitute themselves out just to get by in the world market. As shown in La Vie en rose, fortunately for Edith Piaf her best money commodity was her voice and not her body.

-Ty E


jervaise brooke hamster said...

I want to bugger Marion Cotillard (as she was in 1993 when she was 18, not as she is now obviously).

fox said...

thank you for reviewing this! one of my favorite movies of all time