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Movie Review: La Vie en Rose

Alternate Title: No Regrets

Story: The fabulous and tortured life of French singing icon, Edith Piaf, could easily be a long running soap opera. Abandoned by her mother while her father was fighting in WW1 she was temporarily raised in a brothel, then later carted off by her circus performing contortionist father to became a street performer. She was discovered by an impresario, became the toast of the town, loved and lost, boozed and drugged and through all of her trials had the voice of an angel.

Director Oliver Dahan chose a non-linear, somewhat convoluted and fractured method to tell Piaf's story and it worked for me. Not everything is explained as an American audience might require but just sit back and watch this amazing film reveal itself to you. Dahan approaches his filmmaking as Piaf approached singing. It is art of the highest order and not to everyone's palate. This homage to a brilliant talent is terrific.

Be advised that the film is subtitled but please do not let that stop you from experiencing one fabulous movie experience. It is magnifique!

Acting: Marion Cotillard becomes Edith Piaf and I cannot imagine anyone else playing this role. Her flawless lip-synching is gut wrenchingly perfect. When she is on-screen you simply cannot take your eyes off of her. She plays Piaf from her ingenue days through her drug addled death bed scenes with amazing grace and spirit. Jean-Pierre Martins as boxer Marcel Cerdan was target on perfect as the love of her life. Sylvie Testud, Manon Chevallier, Pauline Burlet and the entire French cast were all terrific.

Predilection: I am a big fan of Edith Piaf.

Critters: A spider, a bullfrog and pelicans

Food: Pastrami sandwiches, Tournados Rossini and mystery meat.

Soundtrack: The voice of Edith Piaf still sits in my soul. I bought the soundtrack on my way home.

Opening Titles: Simple title in white type over a black background.

Visual Art: The time period was perfect in the smallest detail.

Theater Audience: My two movie buddies and a crowd of Piaf lovers.

Weather: The weather seemed to be the only thing that was not a problem in Edith Piaf's life.

Sappy Factor: 0

Quirky Meter: 0

Drift Factor: I was riveted from beginning to end.

Tissue Usage: One of my movie buddies needed a tissue. I just welled up.

Oscar Worthy: Oui Oui

Soap Box: I would have liked to have seen a bit more of Piaf's life during WW11 where it is said she helped the Resistance. For more on Piaf's life got to: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Édith_Piaf

Big Screen or Rental: BIG SCREEN for sure. For a clip of the real Edith Piaf singing go to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i_QABS88nDc

Length: Two hours and 20 minutes. Yes, it broke the two hour Lobo rule but I forgive and forget.