La Vie En Rose


2h 20m 2007

Brief Synopsis

Perhaps finding her nearest American analogues in figures such as Judy Garland and Billie Holiday, the tragic story of the world-famous chanteuse, Edith Piaf, is worthy of a 19th Century novel by Zola or Balzac. From the mean streets of the Belleville district of Paris to the dazzling limelight of N

Film Details

Also Known As
Edith Piaf, Edith Piaf. Ro?inis gyvenimas, Edth Piaf, La Mome, Mome, La, Môme - La vie en rose, Niczego nie zatuje- Edit Piaf, Paif, Piaf - Hino ao Amor, Vida en Rosa, Vie en Rose - Spurven, Vie en Rose - berättelsen om Edith Piaf, vie en rose
MPAA Rating
Genre
Biography
Drama
Foreign
Music
Musical
Release Date
2007
Distribution Company
NEW LINE CINEMA (NEW LINE)/PICTUREHOUSE; New Line Cinema/Picturehouse

Technical Specs

Duration
2h 20m

Synopsis

Perhaps finding her nearest American analogues in figures such as Judy Garland and Billie Holiday, the tragic story of the world-famous chanteuse, Edith Piaf, is worthy of a 19th Century novel by Zola or Balzac. From the mean streets of the Belleville district of Paris to the dazzling limelight of New York's most famous concert halls, Piaf's life was a constant battle to sing and survive, to live and love. Born into abject poverty, surrounded by street performers, hookers, and pimps, Piaf's magical voice made her a star on both sides of the Atlantic. Raised in her grandmother's brothel, Piaf was discovered in 1935 by nightclub owner Louis Leplée, who persuaded her to sing despite her extreme nervousness. This, combined with her diminutive height (4' 8"), inspired Leplée to give the singer the nickname that would stay with her the rest of her life, La Môme Piaf. Piaf's passionate romances and friendships with some of the greatest names of the era--Charlie Chaplin, Jean Cocteau, Yves Montand, and Marlene Deitrich, who famously remarked that Piaf's voice is "the soul of Paris"--made her a household name as much as her unforgettable renditions of the songs she made famous, including "Hymne à l'amour" (1949), "Milord" (1959), and "Non, je ne regrette rien" (1960). Piaf's signature song "La Vie en Rose" (1946) is a love song which translates into English as "The Life in Pink." But in her audacious attempt to tame her tragic destiny, the Little Sparrow flew so high that she could not fail to burn her wings. The great love of Piaf's life, Middleweight boxing champion Marcel Cerdan, died in a plane crash in 1949. Piaf developed a serious morphine addiction following a car accident in 1951, and eventually succumbed to cancer in 1963, dying at the untimely age of forty-seven. Piaf remains, however, one of France's immortal icons, her voice one of the indelible signatures of the 20th Century.

Crew

Christian Abomnes

Camera Focus Puller

Marit Allen

Costume Designer

Jan Archibald

Hair Stylist

Charles Autrand

Dialogue Editor

Maya Barsony

Music

Yves Beloniak

Editor

Olivier Billard

Unit Manager Assistant

Elizabeth Boorn

Coordinator

Katia Boutin

Music Editor

Bruno Calvo

Photography

Olivier Carbone

Casting

Sebastien Caudron

Unit Director

Mathieu Caudroy

Steadicam Operator

Mathieu Caudroy

Camera Operator

Patrick Contesse

Gaffer

Stephane Cressend

On-Set Dresser

Thierry Cretagne

Unit Manager

David Crossman

Costume Supervisor

Olivier Dahan

Screenplay

Roberto De Angelis

Steadicam Operator

Roberto De Angelis

Camera Operator

Jean-noel Delalande

Painter

Emmanuel Delis

Location Manager

Frederic Devillers

Other

Marc Doisne

Sound Mixer

Edouard Dubois

Consultant

Edouard Dubois

Music

Linda Dvorakova

Hair Stylist

Elisa Costa Ellis

Makeup Artist

Jean-baptiste Faure

Sound

Zdenek Fiala

Unit Manager

Alain Figlarz

Consultant

Zdenek Flidr

Unit Manager

Frederic Foret

Music

Brigitte Fourcade

Extras Agent/Coordinator

Antoine Galinie

Propman

Abraham Goldblat

Post-Production Supervisor

Alain Goldman

Producer

Gaston Grandin

Key Grip

Stephane Guitard

Location Manager

Christopher Gunning

Original Music

Vojta Hlavicka

Assistant Director

Roman Holdek

Key Grip

Mathias Honore

Assistant Director

Natalie Humphries

Wardrobe

Jean-paul Hurier

Sound Mixer

Cathy Jabes

Hair Stylist

Nicolas Javelle

Sound Editor

Pascale Jeanniard

Assistant Director

Marc Jenny

Production Coordinator

Alex Johnson

Casting Director

Jiri Kasan

Coach

Tommy Kerne

Unit Manager Assistant

Barbara Kichi

Hair Stylist

Petra Kobedova

On-Set Dresser

Lenka Koutkova

Costume Supervisor

Mick Lanaro

Music

Didier Lavergne

Makeup Artist

Gilbert Lecluyse

Director Of Photography

Gilbert Lecluyse

Dp/Cinematographer

Laure Lepelley

Set Designer

Didier Lesage

Boom Operator

Olda Mach

Production Coordinator

Oldrich Mach Jr.

Assistant Director

Richard Marizy

Editor

Catherine Morisse

Associate Producer

Denisa Murinova

Production Coordinator

Tetsuo Nagata

Director Of Photography

Tetsuo Nagata

Dp/Cinematographer

Gael Nicolas

Sound Editor

Gil Noir

Costume Supervisor

Marc Paris

Accountant

Alceo Passeo

Music

Philippe Penot

Foley Artist

Michel Perrot

Hair Stylist

Virginie Le Pionnier

Script Supervisor

Nicolas Ploux

Unit Manager Assistant

Gabina Polakova

Makeup Artist

Michal Prikryl

Production Manager

Olivier Raoux

Production Designer

Sacha Redon

Unit Manager Assistant

Stephane Reichart

Recording Engineer

Stanislas Reydellet

Set Designer

Frank Rouches

Location Manager

Harmel Sbraire

Coach

Loulia Sheppard

Makeup Artist

Isabelle Sobelman

Other

Isabelle Sobelman

Screenplay (Uncredited)

Ivo Strangmuller

Hair Stylist

Marc Vade

Production Manager

Cecile Vatelot

On-Set Dresser

Pascal Villard

Sound Editor

Laurent Zeilig

Sound Engineer

Film Details

Also Known As
Edith Piaf, Edith Piaf. Ro?inis gyvenimas, Edth Piaf, La Mome, Mome, La, Môme - La vie en rose, Niczego nie zatuje- Edit Piaf, Paif, Piaf - Hino ao Amor, Vida en Rosa, Vie en Rose - Spurven, Vie en Rose - berättelsen om Edith Piaf, vie en rose
MPAA Rating
Genre
Biography
Drama
Foreign
Music
Musical
Release Date
2007
Distribution Company
NEW LINE CINEMA (NEW LINE)/PICTUREHOUSE; New Line Cinema/Picturehouse

Technical Specs

Duration
2h 20m

Award Wins

Best Actress

2008
Marion Cotillard

Articles

La Vie en Rose - Marion Cotillard is Edith Piaf in the Oscar®-winning LA VIE EN ROSE on DVD


Of all the acting Oscars® ever given, few have been more richly deserved than the statuette Marion Cotillard picked up for her performance as Edith Piaf in La Vie en rose, the 2007 biopic about Edith Piaf, the twentieth century's most celebrated French chanteuse. Cotillard gives a pitch-perfect portrayal of the "Little Sparrow" at almost every stage of life, from her spunky adolescent years to her premature decline and untimely death, which struck when she wasn't yet fifty but looked a good two decades older. This is impressive by any measure, and it's all the more amazing when you look at Stepping into Character, a short film about the movie's cosmetic effects included on Picturehouse's DVD edition. Not only is Cotillard a real-life beauty in her early thirties, ideally suited to play Piaf as a vivacious youth, but in her old-lady makeup she still looks uncannily like Piaf, now ravaged by addictions and debilitated by disease. By flawlessly pulling off transformations like these, Cotillard outdoes all competitors in recent memory; even Charlize Theron in Monster didn't have to adopt a steady stream of different appearances throughout the picture. Nor is this a matter of makeup magic alone. Like all outstanding biopic stars, Cotillard meets the double challenge of accurately impersonating her subject and simultaneously conveying her psychological depths. The result is a performance so persuasive and moving that Piaf – never afraid to expose her innermost self for the sake of emotionally truthful art – would surely have applauded it.

Piaf's life seems ideal biopic material. She was born into poverty, abandoned by her parents, and raised in a brothel run by her grandmother. Although many details of her life are clouded by legend, the film accepts the story that she was blind for several years as a child, but was cured when her prostitute friends took her to the shrine of Saint Thérèse de Lisieux, to whom Piaf went on praying for the rest of her life. As a teenager she supported herself by singing in the streets under her real name, Édith Gassion, and at seventeen she had a child who died two years later. At twenty she was spotted by Louis Leplée, a nightclub impresario who hired her to sing and dreamed up the famous nickname – Le Môme Piaf, a slang term meaning Little Sparrow – that reflected her flighty personality and diminutive stature. Leplée was murdered the following year by criminals Piaf knew, but she survived the scandal and rose to international stardom. In later years she acquired famous friends like Jean Cocteau and Yves Montand, fell passionately in love with a world-champion boxer who died in a plane crash, almost lost her own life in multiple car accidents, and developed chronic alcohol and morphine habits. Her mind started to fail in 1963, and later that year she died of liver cancer. She was forty-seven.

To sum it up, Piaf had a hugely dramatic life. And this could have been a problem for the makers of La Vie en rose, since the ingredients of that life read like a laundry list of biopic clichés: rotten childhood, good-hearted hookers, gangster friends, celebrity friends, deaths and drugs, triumphs and tragedies, you name it. But the screenwriters – Olivier Dahan, who directed the picture, and newcomer Isabelle Sobelman – have kept things fresh by artfully scrambling the story's chronology, thus increasing its qualities of surprise and suspense. This strategy begins in the opening scene, when we see Piaf singing to an audience just after we've watched people summoning an ambulance because, as we see later still, she's collapsed onstage. The device persists throughout the film, which leaps across time and space as effortlessly as Piaf croons her favorite songs; it's a tad confusing at first, but it pays large dividends by dividing events along thematic lines instead of following the straight-line trajectory of ordinary movies. Even if you're already familiar with Piaf's history, you can expect the unexpected here.

Dahan's directing is equally creative, with a strong assist from Tetsuo Nagata's vigorous cinematography. I could cite many examples, but a particularly good one is the scene where Piaf learns that her beloved boxer has perished in a plane crash; even before she hears the news, the camera follows her about with a strangely off-kilter fluidity that gives the moment a surrealistic touch, making us know something is wrong before we're actually told. Flourishes like this are another solid firewall against any stale or worn-out plot material that might otherwise have weakened the film.

Anyone who makes a musical biopic faces a big decision about how to handle the performance scenes – the usual choice is either to dub in sounds from the actual musician's recordings or create new performances that do their best to imitate the originals. Apart from a few numbers unavailable in top-quality Piaf recordings, Dahan wisely takes the first option, recognizing that Piaf's one-of-a-kind voice is the best possible gateway to an understanding of her mind and heart, and would be impossible to duplicate anyway. This makes Piaf the most illustrious member of the supporting cast, but the others are excellent in their own ways. Among them are the ubiquitous Gérard Depardieu as Piaf's first patron, Emmanuelle Seigner as a prostitute who cares for her, Sylvie Testud as her youthful friend and drinking companion, Pascal Greggory as her manager, and Jean-Pierre Martins as the ill-fated prizefighter.

And then there are the songs, which deserve costar billing at the very least – the marvelous title number, the stirring "Non, je ne regrette rien," the lighter "Mon manège à moi," and plenty of others. I've often been struck by the remarkably high number of first-rate music biopics there are, from high-toned entries like Mahler and Amadeus to jazzy fare like The Glenn Miller Story and Bird to rock'n'roll pictures as different as The Buddy Holly Story and American Hot Wax and What's Love Got to Do with It. Acted, written, and directed with hardly a false note, La Vie en rose, called La Môme in its native France, ranks with the very best. Piaf couldn't have asked for a better memorial.

For more information about La Vie en rose, visit HBO Home Video. To order La Vie en rose, go to TCM Shopping.

by David Sterritt
La Vie En Rose - Marion Cotillard Is Edith Piaf In The Oscar®-Winning La Vie En Rose On Dvd

La Vie en Rose - Marion Cotillard is Edith Piaf in the Oscar®-winning LA VIE EN ROSE on DVD

Of all the acting Oscars® ever given, few have been more richly deserved than the statuette Marion Cotillard picked up for her performance as Edith Piaf in La Vie en rose, the 2007 biopic about Edith Piaf, the twentieth century's most celebrated French chanteuse. Cotillard gives a pitch-perfect portrayal of the "Little Sparrow" at almost every stage of life, from her spunky adolescent years to her premature decline and untimely death, which struck when she wasn't yet fifty but looked a good two decades older. This is impressive by any measure, and it's all the more amazing when you look at Stepping into Character, a short film about the movie's cosmetic effects included on Picturehouse's DVD edition. Not only is Cotillard a real-life beauty in her early thirties, ideally suited to play Piaf as a vivacious youth, but in her old-lady makeup she still looks uncannily like Piaf, now ravaged by addictions and debilitated by disease. By flawlessly pulling off transformations like these, Cotillard outdoes all competitors in recent memory; even Charlize Theron in Monster didn't have to adopt a steady stream of different appearances throughout the picture. Nor is this a matter of makeup magic alone. Like all outstanding biopic stars, Cotillard meets the double challenge of accurately impersonating her subject and simultaneously conveying her psychological depths. The result is a performance so persuasive and moving that Piaf – never afraid to expose her innermost self for the sake of emotionally truthful art – would surely have applauded it. Piaf's life seems ideal biopic material. She was born into poverty, abandoned by her parents, and raised in a brothel run by her grandmother. Although many details of her life are clouded by legend, the film accepts the story that she was blind for several years as a child, but was cured when her prostitute friends took her to the shrine of Saint Thérèse de Lisieux, to whom Piaf went on praying for the rest of her life. As a teenager she supported herself by singing in the streets under her real name, Édith Gassion, and at seventeen she had a child who died two years later. At twenty she was spotted by Louis Leplée, a nightclub impresario who hired her to sing and dreamed up the famous nickname – Le Môme Piaf, a slang term meaning Little Sparrow – that reflected her flighty personality and diminutive stature. Leplée was murdered the following year by criminals Piaf knew, but she survived the scandal and rose to international stardom. In later years she acquired famous friends like Jean Cocteau and Yves Montand, fell passionately in love with a world-champion boxer who died in a plane crash, almost lost her own life in multiple car accidents, and developed chronic alcohol and morphine habits. Her mind started to fail in 1963, and later that year she died of liver cancer. She was forty-seven. To sum it up, Piaf had a hugely dramatic life. And this could have been a problem for the makers of La Vie en rose, since the ingredients of that life read like a laundry list of biopic clichés: rotten childhood, good-hearted hookers, gangster friends, celebrity friends, deaths and drugs, triumphs and tragedies, you name it. But the screenwriters – Olivier Dahan, who directed the picture, and newcomer Isabelle Sobelman – have kept things fresh by artfully scrambling the story's chronology, thus increasing its qualities of surprise and suspense. This strategy begins in the opening scene, when we see Piaf singing to an audience just after we've watched people summoning an ambulance because, as we see later still, she's collapsed onstage. The device persists throughout the film, which leaps across time and space as effortlessly as Piaf croons her favorite songs; it's a tad confusing at first, but it pays large dividends by dividing events along thematic lines instead of following the straight-line trajectory of ordinary movies. Even if you're already familiar with Piaf's history, you can expect the unexpected here. Dahan's directing is equally creative, with a strong assist from Tetsuo Nagata's vigorous cinematography. I could cite many examples, but a particularly good one is the scene where Piaf learns that her beloved boxer has perished in a plane crash; even before she hears the news, the camera follows her about with a strangely off-kilter fluidity that gives the moment a surrealistic touch, making us know something is wrong before we're actually told. Flourishes like this are another solid firewall against any stale or worn-out plot material that might otherwise have weakened the film. Anyone who makes a musical biopic faces a big decision about how to handle the performance scenes – the usual choice is either to dub in sounds from the actual musician's recordings or create new performances that do their best to imitate the originals. Apart from a few numbers unavailable in top-quality Piaf recordings, Dahan wisely takes the first option, recognizing that Piaf's one-of-a-kind voice is the best possible gateway to an understanding of her mind and heart, and would be impossible to duplicate anyway. This makes Piaf the most illustrious member of the supporting cast, but the others are excellent in their own ways. Among them are the ubiquitous Gérard Depardieu as Piaf's first patron, Emmanuelle Seigner as a prostitute who cares for her, Sylvie Testud as her youthful friend and drinking companion, Pascal Greggory as her manager, and Jean-Pierre Martins as the ill-fated prizefighter. And then there are the songs, which deserve costar billing at the very least – the marvelous title number, the stirring "Non, je ne regrette rien," the lighter "Mon manège à moi," and plenty of others. I've often been struck by the remarkably high number of first-rate music biopics there are, from high-toned entries like Mahler and Amadeus to jazzy fare like The Glenn Miller Story and Bird to rock'n'roll pictures as different as The Buddy Holly Story and American Hot Wax and What's Love Got to Do with It. Acted, written, and directed with hardly a false note, La Vie en rose, called La Môme in its native France, ranks with the very best. Piaf couldn't have asked for a better memorial. For more information about La Vie en rose, visit HBO Home Video. To order La Vie en rose, go to TCM Shopping. by David Sterritt

Quotes

Trivia

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States February 2007 (Shown at Berlin International Film Festival (Opening Night/Competition) February 8-18, 2007.)

Winner of the 2007 award for Actress of the Year (Marion Cotillard) by the London Critics' Circle.

Winner of the 2007 award for Best Actress (Marion Cotillard) by the Boston Society of Film Critics (BSFC).

Winner of the 2007 award for Best Actress (Marion Cotillard) by the Los Angeles Film Critics Association (LAFCA).

Winner of the 2007 Satellite Award for Best Actress - Drama (Marion Cotillard) by the International Press Academy (IPA).

Winner of the Golden Space Needle Audience Award for Best Actress (Marion Cotillard) at the 2007 Seattle International Film Festival.

Released in United States Summer June 8, 2007

Released in United States on Video November 13, 2007

Released in United States 2007

Released in United States February 2007

Released in United States June 2007

Shown at San Francisco International Film Festival (Big Nights) April 26-May 10, 2007.

Shown at Seattle International Film Festival (Emerging Masters) May 24-June 17, 2007.

Shown at Berlin International Film Festival (Opening Night/Competition) February 8-18, 2007.

Shown at CineVegas Film Festival (Sure Bets) June 8-16, 2007.

Winner of the 2008 Czech Lion award for Best Actress (Marion Cotillard).

Icon and Constantin acquired distribution rights at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival following an eight minute promo screening of the film.

New Line and HBO specialty film label Picturehouse acquired domestic rights at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival.

Released in United States Summer June 8, 2007 (NY, LA)

Released in United States on Video November 13, 2007

Released in United States 2007 (Shown at San Francisco International Film Festival (Big Nights) April 26-May 10, 2007.)

Released in United States 2007 (Shown at Seattle International Film Festival (Emerging Masters) May 24-June 17, 2007.)

Winner of four 2007 awards including Best Actress (Marion Cotillard), Best Music, Best Costume Design and Best Make Up & Hair by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA).

Released in United States June 2007 (Shown at CineVegas Film Festival (Sure Bets) June 8-16, 2007.)