Olivier Dahan’s La Vie en Rose is a biopic of the queen of French pop, Édith Piaf, who was blessed with a sensational voice and cursed with a life full of dramas. In the chopped-up sequence, we get to see Piaf belting out her voice on the street of Paris in her teen, collapsing on stage in her late life, living in the whorehouse in her youth, drinking like a fish throughout her life and shooting up drugs as much as ten times a day after her lover died. In other words, the sequence of the film is as chaotic as her life.
Marion Cotillard as Piaf gave a remarkable performance in both the young and old characters. While drug could corrupt her health and appearance—she looked as if she was in her 70s when she was only in her 40s—it could not take away voice. In fact, what makes her music powerful was that she not just sang but lived the songs. From “La Vie en Rose” to “Milord” to “Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien,” she expressed these ballads with the response of her personal tragedies, and in doing so, she was able to reach the world with her soulful voice.
Even if La Vie en Rose isn’t one of the best musical biopics ever filmed (it isn’t as well done as Ray), it is still worth watching. The life and music of Piaf is too marvelous to pass on, and Cotillard has done the justice of portraying the incredible singer.