Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life

2010 [FRENCH]

Biography / Drama / Music

0
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 73%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 68%
IMDb Rating 6.9 10 9962

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Plot summary


Uploaded by: FREEMAN
August 11, 2022 at 02:39 PM

Director

Top cast

Doug Jones as La Gueule
Lucy Gordon as Jane Birkin
Laetitia Casta as Brigitte Bardot
720p.BLU
1.09 GB
1280*544
fre 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
2 hr 1 min
P/S ...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by georgioskarpouzas 7 / 10

a surreal version of an uncommon life

I did watch this film in it's premiere in Athens, at the festival of Franchophone films.I liked the movie which incorporated many surreal and fantasy elements in the linear narrative of the life of the hero. He had an alter ego, which was the substantiation of a childhood fantasy which always tried to tempt him to follow the broad path that led to riches, fame, sex and power. He followed the advice of his evil other self and he became the public icon we know from history and the media. Emphasis is also given to his Jewishness and his courage to manifest it before collaborationist authorities as a young boy.

Excepting the marked surreal elements which the director in an introductory speech attributed to the fact that he is also a comic strip creator, the film emphasizes what we already know, that is his incessant womanizing, publicity seeking and studied provocative stance, culminating in his memorable if controversial rendering of the Marselleise-the French national anthem-in a reggae music version and a refrain that was full of irony.

The sometimes overemphasized description of his rampant sexuality drove some of the audience out of the theatre as did the depiction of his reggae version of the French national anthem. But this was obviously an overreaction due either to ignorance or desire to cut a figure. If you had the slightest idea of who Gainsbourgh was, you would not be expecting anything else from a movie dedicated to his life story.

Because Gainsbough was prone to the pleasures of the flesh with women famous or ordinary, many impressive actresses such as Laetitia Casta and Anna Muglalis appear in the movie portraying the gorgeous women he had affairs with. The whole impression you form is that he had been a anti-authoritarian bobo(bourgeois-Boheme) before this term had been invented.

There is also a sensitive depiction of his relationship with his parents, which was closer and more intimate than one would expect from a man who had such an obvious (real or affected) grudge towards authority.The actresses play convincingly the women of his life, who were glamorous and sexy. In the end one is left with the question whether such a life is enviable and worthy of emulation or example to avoid. whichever answer each one reaches, as a spectacle it is surely interesting to see.

Reviewed by colin_coyne 8 / 10

It's not big or clever to smoke, and it doesn't make you look cool … unless you happen to be Serge Gainsbourg … !

GAINSBOURG (Vie héroïque) … from the Studio Canal stable depicts the life story of Serge Gainsbourg from early childhood in the 1930's and 40's, until just before his death in 1991.

Born Lucien Ginsburg – and as an impressionable youth he felt outcast as being a Jewish child in Nazi occupied Paris in the 1940's – leading him to develop an imaginary friend who adopted an increasingly grotesque caricature / persona of himself that would lead him on to do more and more outrageous things to "rebel" his situation and to attempt to gain an element of "love" and "acceptance" from his notoriety.

A talented musician and artist, Lucien (who later was persuaded by friends to change his name to the more "acceptable" Serge Gainsbourg) became the darling of the social scene, charming his way through a succession of affairs with beautiful women – most notably Brigitte Bardot, Juliette Greco, and Jane Birkin.

I'm surprised that they didn't have a cigarette company sponsoring this movie – as the sheer amount of fags smoked during this film must be some sort of record!

After the showing of the film (at the Cineworld, Haymarket, London) we were treated to a Question and Answer session with the Writer / Director of this movie JOANN SFAR, who explained that the idea for the film came from his own graphic novel on Serge Gainsbourg penned by JOANN SFAR – and this pretty much formed the construct and ambiance of the movie – it is highly graphical and visual in it's content – much of it being fantasy visions and flashbacks within Gainsbourg's mind. Talking from the heart – Joann showed a real passion for the film, and was very open as to how the film was created.

Gainsbourg became the darling of French society with his talent and flair – but he also would court scandal and became infamous for the release of "Je t'aime... moi non plus" (which he originally wrote for Bardot) and the seemingly disrespectful reggae version of the French national anthem "La Marseillaise", but love him or loath him – you couldn't ignore him ..

The whole movie is very atmospheric, and some of the casting of this film was inspired – especially the terrific performances by Eric Elmosnini in the title role, the stunning beautiful Laetitia Casta as Brigitte Bardot, Lucy Gordon as Jane Birkin, Anna Mouglalis as Juliette Greco and Kacey Mottet Klein as the young Lucien Ginsburg.

At the end credits of the film is a dedication "to Lucy" which referred to the actress Lucy Gordon – who (the director explained) played the part of Jane Birkin in the film – and who had tragically committed suicide during the final editing parts of the film – a talented actress – and a sad loss.

At 2 hours 10mins long, in French with English subtitles GAINSBOURG will not be everyone's cup of tea … but the film DOES keep you entertained and if you give it a chance, I'm sure that you will not be disappointed ...

It's not big or clever to smoke, and it doesn't make you look cool … unless you happen to be Serge Gainsbourg … !

GAINSBOURG is on general release from 30th July 2010

Reviewed by dromasca 9 / 10

a complex work about France in the 20th century and about one of its major artists

Where does this amazing film come from? Who is Joann Sfar, a director I never heard about before? The easiest answer at hand was the wikipedia entry which tells us that Sfar is a well known comics author in the fabulous French-Belgian tradition. He is of Jewish origin, and his next film is an adaptation of one of his comics successes called The Rabbi's Cat.

And suddenly all makes sense. The opening scenes of the film contain the key of the biography of French musician and poet Serge Gainsbourg as imagined by Sfar. We see Lucien Ginzburg, a Jewish kid in occupied Paris during WWII daring not only to laugh in fronde at the nose of the collaborationist police by being the first in line to receive his yellow Star of David as a sign of nobility rather than an anathema, but moreover, to transform in his mind and his sketch drawings the fat rapacious Jew on the Vichy posters in the thin, stylish, long nose and big years Gueule - the alter-ego who will guide his steps and feed his revenging self-confidence for the rest of his life.

The combination of acting and cartoon is not a new thing, but it has never been tried before in a biopic to the best of my knowledge. Sure, it is not the usual respectful biopic but it's the vision of Sfar about Ginzburg - Gainsbourg, and Sfar he says in the final text before the credits was more interested about Gainsbourg lies than by his perceived truths. Moreover, for sure Gainsbourg himself would not have appreciated a respectful film. Ironically under-titled 'Vie heroique' (heroic life) the film takes us though the artistic and especially womanizing career of Gainsbourg from the early 50s to the late 70s. We see him in the company of such French cultural icon as Boris Vian and especially of fabulous women such as Juliette Greco, Brigitte Bardot and Jane Birkin (and actually the list in the film is very partial). I enjoyed each of the scenes in this part of the film which combine style, attention to details (just follow how fashion changes marking the progress of time) and deep understanding of the atmosphere of the Parisian clubs and artistic milieu in the mythic mid-20 century. His Gueule alter-ego mentors him though this trip and when he decides to renounce his patronizing, it's the beginning of the end - the charisma goes away and the effects of his excesses slowly destroy him. Maybe a little more of his art would have provided an even more complex and balanced image of the person that Gainsbourg was - this would be my only observation.

The choice of Eric Elmosnino as Gainsbourg is excellent, he drives the character from the insecurity of the young age to the decay of the end, all the time with charm and deep empathy. He proves a perfect understanding of the intentions of the director and a full identification with the identity dilemmas of the French-Jewish Gainsbourg. Laetitia Casta is a perfect replica of Bardot. Lucy Gordon is mastering very well Jane Birkin's role. Her maturity makes even harder to explain the suicide of the young actress a few days before the film was presented in avant-premiere at Cannes.

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