ABC Film Challenge – Oscar Nomination – L – La Vie en Rose (2007)

Director: Olivier Dahan

Writer: Isabelle Sobelman, Olivier Dahan (Screenplay)

Starring: Marion Cotillard, Sylvie Testud, Emmanuelle, Gerard Depardieu, Jean-Pierre Martins

 

Plot: Biopic of the iconic French singer Édith Piaf. Raised by her grandmother in a brothel, she was discovered while singing on a street corner at the age of 19. Despite her success, Piaf’s life was filled with tragedy.


Tagline – The passionate life of Edith Piaf

Runtime: 2 Hours 20 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Cotillard is Outstanding

 

Story: La Vie en Rose starts when young Edith is left in her grandmother’s care in her brothel where prostitute Titine (Seigner) becomes her best friend, she suffers here after becoming sick and newly losing her sight. Taken to the circus by her father, it isn’t long before the two find themselves alone with Edith showing signs of her singing ability.

At the age of 20 Edith (Cotillard) is singing on the street corners with her friend Momone (Testud) before she gets noticed by Louise Leplee (Depardieu) who offers her a chance to sing in his clubs, this is just the beginning of her career as a performer. Edith’s life never went a smoothly as many others because behind the scenes we had plenty of problems.

 

Thoughts on La Vie en Rose

 

Characters – Edith Piaf is the famous French singer, she didn’t start on the top, we learn the struggles she faced, with her upbringing in a brothel and circus, before turning to the streets as a singer. Given the chance to perform on stage she never looked back when it came to performing, but she did enjoy partying which catches up with her as people try to control her rise to the top. Through the film we meet people that are important in Edith’s life, though one thing becomes clear, she doesn’t seem to stay around many people for too long.

PerformancesMarion Cotillard won an Oscar for this performance, you can see why, she is fantastic cover multiply different years of the singer making each age seem realistic for the audience to understand the struggles she is facing next. Everyone else in the film is great, though most struggle to reach the complete level Cotillard achieves in this film.

StoryThe story follows the life and career of performer Edith Piaf one of the most famous French singers of all time, we see how her life started with the battles to get out of the brothel and off the streets, to be where she belonged, on the stage, however many tragic events came her way. The story is told with plenty of time jumps between different ages which at times can be frustrating because this style of movie is often better to watch in the linear process, even if it is somebody looking back on life. Away from that little nit-pick, we see how amazing the story of Edith was with her final performance being the most iconic of all her songs.

Biopic/RomanceWe get to see most of the important moments in Edith’s life with this story, the performances and the tragic moments.

SettingsEach setting used in the film shows us just how the film was able to recreate the location that would have been used for the real moments in the life of the singer, with the performances feeling like they would be where they would really have taken place.


Scene of the Movie –
The final performance.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The time jumps are off putting at times.

Final ThoughtsThis is a brilliant biopic that shows just how talents Cotillard is and teaches us about a brilliant singer that will never be forgotten.

 

Overall: Brilliant Biopic.

Rating

 

 

Leonardo DiCaprio Weekend – The Man in the Iron Mask (1998)

casting cardDirector: Randall Wallace

Writer: Randall Wallace (Screenplay) Alexandre Dumas (Novel)

Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jeremy Irons, John Malkovich, Gerard Depardieu, Gabriel Byrne, Anne Parillaud, Judith Godreche, Edward Atterton, Peter Sarsgaard, Hugh Laurie

 

Plot: The cruel King Louis XIV of France has a secret twin brother who he keeps imprisoned. Can the twin be substituted for the real king?

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Enjoyable Adventure Film

 

Story: The Man in the Iron Mask starts as the young King Louis XIV (DiCaprio) finds him rule leading to a civil war within France as he tries to conquer neighbouring countries. Louis has the Musketeers protecting him with the most famous of these being Aramis (Irons) now a priest, Athos (Malkovich) who son Raoul (Sarsgaard) is in training to become a musketeer, Porthos (Depardieu) a drunk and D’Artagnan (Byrne) Louis closest guard.

Tired of the King’s ways Aramis leads the revolution against the King with Porthos and Athos by his side with D’Artagnan struggling with the morale dilemma on which side of the battle to be on. The plan is to free Philippe (DiCaprio) who has been cast into an iron mask to hide his identity of twin to King Louis from the world and replace him with the real King to try and create peace within France.

The Man in the Iron Mask is a historical tale based loosely on the real people following the musketeers attempt to stop a revolution without bloodshed. This shows how conflict could be solved without anyone dying but also shows how one person can become overcome by power which can lead to this conflict happen too. Each character has a good developed story and seeing the musketeers at a later stage of their life comes off fresh to what we have seen too often. The story won’t be for everyone but wouldn’t this have been an amazing true story?

 

Actor Review

 

Leonardo DiCaprio: King Louis XIV is the cruel ruler of France, making his people starve while trying to conquer the neighbouring countries. He is ruthless wanting to kill anyone who goes against him even if it is just for fun.

Leonardo DiCaprio: Philippe is the twin to King Louis who has been imprisoned for years to hide his true identity. Once freed by the musketeers he is given the chance to replace Louis and give France the true leader needed to bring peace to the country. Leonardo gives us two great performances one as the evil ruler with the other as the kind hearted man. This showed how Leo could handle for both sides of the battle.

Jeremy Irons: Aramis is a priest that is one of the former famous musketeers, he is sent to find and kill the leader of the resistance against King Louis, only he is the leader and has plan to replace King Louis with his brother Philippe. Jeremy is good in this role which you could see him play for years to come.

John Malkovich: Athos is a retired musketeer who has devoted his life to make sure his son can follow in his footsteps. When his son is killed serving King Louis he joins Aramis to rid France of the cruel ruler. John is good in this role where he gets to enter into another period piece role.

Gerard Depardieu: Porthos is the drunk of the musketeers filled with the lust for life, he creates the added comedy in the story as we wait to see what he does wrong next. Gerard is fun in this role.

Gabriel Byrne: D’Artagnan is the loyal guard to the King, he does see the error in his ways but refuses to break an oaf to protect the king with his life. His loyalty will leave him facing against his old friends but will this be his downfall. Gabriel is strong in this role throughout the film.

Support Cast: The Man in the Iron Mask has a supporting cast that never look out of place with the interaction with the main cast which does help the story unfold the way it does.

Director Review: Randall WallaceRandall gives us an enjoyable version of this story which I do think is a very interesting story.

 

Action: The Man in the Iron Mask has good combat action being used throughout which is all swords swinging entertainment.

Adventure: The Man in the Iron Mask throws our musketeers on an adventure they wished for to complete their lives work.

Settings: The Man in the Iron Mask puts us in France for the setting with each setting looking like the time period in question.

Suggestion: The Man in the Iron Mask is one to try, the length of the film could turn people off but it is an enjoyable adventure film. (Try It)

 

Best Part: Final showdown.

Worst Part: Slightly long.

 

Believability: Parts were true.

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Budget: $35 Minutes

Runtime: 2 Hour 12 Minutes

Tagline: For the honor of a king. And the destiny of a country. All for one.

 

Overall: Enjoyable Adventure that continues the musketeer’s legacy.

Ratingcard

 

 

Babylon A.D. (2008)

logoDirector: Mathieu Kassovitz

Writer: Mathieu Kassovitz, Joseph Simas (Screenplay) Maurice G. Dantec (Novel ‘Babylon Babies’)

Starring: Vin Diesel, Michelle Yeoh, Melanie Thierry, Lambert Wilson, Mark Strong, Charlotte Rampling, Gerard Depardieu, Jerome Le Banner

 

Plot: In a near future, the mercenary Toorop (Diesel) is hired by the powerful criminal Gorsky (Depardieu) to take a woman named Aurora (Thierry) from a Noelite Convent in Central Asia to New York. In return, he will receive a large amount of money and a clear passport. Toorop joins Aurora and her guardian Sister Rebeka (Yeoh) as they cross the dangerous Russian landscape chased by mercenaries that also want Aurora. On their journey, Toorop discovers that Aurora has special abilities and once in New York they see on the news that the Noelite Convent has just been bombed. When Aurora discloses that she is a virgin and pregnant with twins, Toorop realizes that there is something sinister behind his mission and that he and Sister Rebeka are not part of Gorsky’s plans.

 

Verdict: Short Sci-Fi Missing a Final Act

 

Story: Starting out with the usual reluctant hero having to risk more than he ever wanted to, to protect someone with powers the world has never seen. This time we are put in the bleak future world where the rich have too much and the poor struggle to survive. We see how two different groups are interested in the package and both for very different motives. Our hero refuses to trust either and has to turn to his connection that he also doesn’t trust to make the journey possible. In the end it is nothing new to the genre in fact it is just a mix of Mercury Rising and Fifth Element. (6/10)

 

Actor Reviews

 

Vin Diesel: Toorop our reluctant hero who has his strict rules for his missions, he can’t get back in the US for an unknown reason, we really don’t learn anything to explain why he is who he is. He puts everything on the line to make this mission happen so he can disappear. This is what you expect from Vin, strong leading role with plenty of combat skill. (7/10)

 vin

Michelle Yeoh: Sister Rebeka the protector of Aurora, who has strong religious beliefs that guide her. She has good combat skills to show that she isn’t just a religious figure. Good supporting performance showing the mysterious protector well. (7/10)

yeoh

Melanie Thierry: Aurora the mysterious package that needs to be delivered, she has powers that can help her see into the future and take in an incredible amount of knowledge. Good performance to create a mysterious woman. (7/10)

 melanie

Director Review: Mathieu Kassovitz – Good direction to create the film, but it really feels like there should be one more final scene. (6/10)

 

Action: The action comes thick and fast, with two big ones that really stand out. (8/10)

Sci-Fi: A good dark bleak look at how the future world could be. (9/10)

Thriller: Doesn’t manage to pull you in enough to really be at the edge of the seat. (5/10)

Settings: Each setting is very good and does add to the atmosphere of the story. (8/10)
Special Effects
: Even though we are looking at a future world, the film tries to leave the special effects out, but when needed they are good. (8/10)

Suggestion: I think this is one to try, but don’t go out your way to see this film. (Try it)

 

Best Part:  Snow Ski chase from Jets.

Worst Part: Needs more of a conclusion.

Action Scene Of The Film: Battle in New York

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $72,108,608

Budget: $70 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

 

Overall: Not The Most Memorable Sci-Fi Film

Rating 65