I forgot to return three movies for a week, so I’m pretty sure I’ll have to get a second job to pay off the charges. That’s why I made the decision to return to Netflix, where late fees are non-existent. And I like that you can watch movies online. I only wish they had a more extensive online selection.
I was, however, surprised to find “La Vie en Rose” in the mix of movies available for immediate viewing this weekend. After watching Marion Cotillard accept the Academy Award for her role as French singer Edith Piaf, I thought it would be interesting, and the film didn’t disappoint.
I initially thought Cotillard must have sang, warranting the Oscar, but I’ve learned she did not provide vocals. Her performance, however, is strong and allows the audience to connect with a character who is foreign in many ways.
I generally become disinterested in most foreign films because I don’t enjoy reading subtitles, but I found Piaf’s unusual personality, shaped by abandonment, abuse, addiction, place and time, fascinating. My perception of the singer changed throughout the movie, and the unpredictability of how I viewed her in the next scene and situation held my attention.
Filmmakers portray Piaf as a person changed by everyone who entered her life, negatively and positively, and the audience witnesses her malleable psychological transformation from awkward, perfect pitch, singing street urchin – to The Little Sparrow; Parisian diva; frail, dying woman who only feels alive when she performs.
All performers seem driven by their desire for acceptance. Piaf was a classic example who didn’t experience it early on and relied on her audience to fill the need.