Gainsbourg (Vie héroïque)

Gainsbourg (Vie héroïque)

An imaginative look at the life of French singer Serge Gainsbourg, from growing up in Nazi-occupied Paris through his acclaimed music-making years in the 1960s right up until his death in 1991 at the age of 62. 3.2 out of 5 based on 14 reviews
Gainsbourg (Vie héroïque)

Omniscore:

Certificate 15
Genre Foreign, Drama
Director Joann Sfar
Cast Lucy Gordon, Laetitia Casta, Doug Jones, Anna Mouglalis Eric Elmosnino
Studio Optimum Releasing
Release Date July 2010
Running Time 130 mins
 

An imaginative look at the life of French singer Serge Gainsbourg, from growing up in Nazi-occupied Paris through his acclaimed music-making years in the 1960s right up until his death in 1991 at the age of 62.

Reviews

The New Statesman

Ryan Gilbey

Like a rebellious child lashing out at its parents, only to return to the fold in its hour of need, Joann Sfar's film Gainsbourg enjoys a fractious, push-and-pull relationship with the biopic genre. Despite sharing crucial DNA, the picture makes quite a song and dance about differentiating itself from biopics gone by. Fortunately, it's a song and dance worth watching.

29/07/2010

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The Sunday Times

Cosmo Landesman

Never mind the songs, it’s the story that’s so memorable. Elmosnino gives one of those rare performances where the actor totally dis­appears into the role.

01/08/2010

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Variety

Jordan Mintzer

Both evocative and faithful in its depiction of the famed French singer's lascivious life, "Gainsbourg" offers up a feast of memorable chansons and an almost endless parade of drop-dead-goreous muses.

21/01/2010

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The Independent on Sunday

Jonathan Romney

Overall, Sfar bowdlerises his man somewhat, or at least steers away from some of the scandal – he gives Gainsbourg's life a tender happy ending, and skates around the provocation of "Lemon Incest", his duo with daughter Charlotte. The result is a "heroic life" rather than a real life, but Sfar is at least explicit about his intentions. Uneven but lively, Gainsbourg is less a biopic, more a tribute musical, but an enjoyable shadow show nonetheless.

01/08/2010

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The Observer

Philip French

This enjoyable, handsomely designed, somewhat ragged film brings us close to Gainsbourg as a personality. But it won't help anyone to a high score on Mastermind with "The Life and Work of Serge Gainsbourg" as the specialist subject.

01/08/2010

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The Daily Telegraph

Tim Robey

The film has been trimmed since its première, pruned, dare we say it, of excess Frenchness, but it’s still as though director Joann Sfar, who comes from a background in comics, is busier bridling against the conventions of the genre than truly rethinking them.

29/07/2010

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Time Out

Trevor Johnston

A shame, then, that the film has already played its strongest cards by the end of the ’60s, resulting in an all-too-familiar slide into ravaged self-caricature in its sketchy account of Gainsbourg’s final decades. It’s as if Sfar has run out of things to say, but while the movie’s on a roll, it’s zesty, engaging and frisky.

29/07/2010

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Empire Magazine

Andrew Male

Eric Elmosnino is terrific as the louche French icon in Joann Sfar's vivid biopic. Shame about that second hour.

03/11/2010

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The Evening Standard

Derek Malcolm

This is a beautifully dream-like debut by Sfar, a comics artist, even if it slightly overstates its case and outstays its welcome. And it’s anchored by bravura performances from Kacey Mottet Klein, who plays Gainsbourg as an adolescent, and Eric Elmosnino, who plays him from 20 to his death at 62 in 1991.

30/07/2010

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The Financial Times

Nigel Andrews

The movie is too long and the predominant colour is that dismaying reverential brown (Dulux will soon market it as Biopic Burlap) in which we have had to fog around in recent years after Edith Piaf, Coco Chanel and co. Like I said: should be 75 minutes shorter. Good things, though, in the best hour.

28/07/2010

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The Guardian

Peter Bradshaw

Joann Sfar's movie-portrait of French musical legend Serge Gainsbourg, taken from his own graphic novel, is as spiky, tricky and arresting as its subject.

29/07/2010

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Total Film

Neil Smith

The trajectory will feel all too familiar: that of a gifted iconoclast brought low by his demons, addictions and inability to compromise.

20/07/2010

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The Independent

Anthony Quinn

The film shows off a bit, ready to play the fool but reluctant to examine anything deeply: we never discover how, for instance, he managed to elude the Nazis. It's a brave variation on the biopic, but not a compelling one.

30/07/2010

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The Times

Emma Bartley

However, as the film lurches from scandale to horreur in an ever -thickening cloud of tobacco smoke, it starts to feel a little disjointed and episodic: a tawdry romp in search of an ending.

30/07/2010

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