Wednesday, May 09, 2007

La Môme

Breathtaking moments are hard to come by. Great times are hard to come by. Films like La Môme (La Vie en Rose) hardly ever comes by.

And that’s why you need to watch it and you need to watch it now.

La Môme is the French title of the film about the intense and tragically short life of one of those extraordinary singers that appears once in a few lifetimes.
Edith Piaf was a household name in the US and the Europe and France’s most loved singer. Her music usually reflected her intense and ill-fated life, which ended shortly after only forty seven years. Her legend continues to live beyond her existence in the likes of her signature song, “La vie en rose” written in 1945 and voted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1998.

The film follows closely to Piaf’s struggle, discovery, rose to fame, and her eventual death. Keeping everything so real; so much so that you actually feel the tiny hairs on your back stand just by watching
Marion Cotillard flesh out Piaf.

My first encounter with Cotillard came in the form of strange but rather well done arty French film call Innocence. Otherwise, Cotillard has kept herself mostly to the French film society only making her rare English appearance in Hollywood movie “A Good Year” opposite Russell Crowe.

Since noticing Cotillard in Innocence, I was instantly mesmerized by her deep questioning eyes that seem to lead to many mysteries. They appear to search you and question you and even talk to you – despite through camera lenses and severeal film strips! I just knew I had to look her up and read more about her. Yeah, I’m one of those geeks who has their laptop nearby everytime they watch a film (geeks normally watch on DVD or Internet J), just in case we need to google or wiki something out about the film.

But back to La Môme - or Cotillard in La Môme as Edith Piaf or The Sparrow as the title refers to her nickname in French. A sparrow both because of her small physique as well as her throaty yet sad voice that seems to communicate the fragility of the bird.

Cotillard played scarily so well and real that it’s almost emotional to watch such rare performance from actors nowadays! It was like seeing Piaf alive again! Her body movements, her signature expressions, her looks throughout various ages…the makeup artist for this film definitely deserve high appraises as well! Managing to transform Cotillard, who is in her own rights a very beautiful woman, into someone completely different and changing accordingly to age. You could actually believe the woman on screen was Piaf, stricken with arthritis and dying of cancer.

Ahh, but most amazing of all – Cotillard sang every single song herself. Pretending to be singers/dancers/or someone-you-seriously-are-not; is already quite a feat. But trying to act as someone who else who happens to be quite extraordinary in some way, it’s near impossible. But damn! Cotillard can sing! And she sings like Piaf herself!

As you can see, I can most definitely go on and on forever singing about how amazing and near impossibly good the film has been. But I won’t. I won’t allow myself to keep you snagged here as you have a mission to accomplish. Go watch La Môme.

This film undeniably, indisputably, more than likely, should receive an Oscar – if not something better. Maybe two, maybe more. One for coming out as a great film; another for Cotillard for her stellar performance, another for the makeup artist, and maybe one more for the director for putting everything together.

Bravo Edith! Bravo Marion! Bravo Olivier!

Oh yeah, one of Piaf’s song was used in yet another amazing French film, Amelie. Go find out ;-)

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