Marion Cotillard received her first Oscar nomination, and won, for playing grand French singer, Edith Piaf in La Vie En Rose.
How can someone deny such a performance that's constantly lauded and praised? Well, I can.
First off, let me just say I am not very familiar with Edith Piaf. I've heard she was the French Judy Garland, who started off promising and ending up a drugged out version of herself, but I've never really been all that familiar of her.
Marion Cotillard portrays Edith Piaf, from her teenage years and on, and for me, she gives two performances.
Her first performance, as the young Edith, is just plain weird. Cotillard is constantly making these clownish, ridiculous faces, and for me, it's all just...weird. Strangely, it reminds me of this, and that's not a good thing. Is there some factual proof Edith Piaf behaved like this? If so, I probably still wouldn't believe it. She is also having, very over the top I might add, tantrums that just confuse me.
And how can we care about Edith when she seems borderline mental and unlikeable in all of these earlier scenes?
Now, the second performance, is the older Edith. What was the director thinking with this? Not only is the makeup, Academy Award winning makeup, so outlandish, so unearthly, it becomes way, way too much. Cotillard doesn't do anything with the makeup either, she's wearing it, she's not embracing it.
Older Edith is also fainting...alot. Marion Cotillard goes way overboard in her stage scenes...I guess when someone faints on stage, they must breathe heavily, then try to fall back, then fall to the other side. Uh huh, right.
She goes from one over the top situation to the next throughout the entire movie, and none of them work.
People constantly refer to the "Marcel" scene, saying it's a great example of method acting. If anything, it's the worst part of the performance for me. Maybe how it's executed. She finds out Marcel is dead, so she's runs to another room yelling for him, runs back, starts shrieking and sobbing, runs back while people hold her back, then they let go of her, so we can have a moment where Edith holds her hands against her chest.
When I first watched La Vie En Rose, I immediately watched it again when I had the chance, because I couldn't believe what I witnessed. That such a performance, that I imagine could have been better (better movie, better actress), was really, just terrible.
But, there a few good things in this performance.
Cotillard's best moments come in the middle, where she is a diva in training. She has some quiet moments of tenderness with Marcel, and Cotillard, surprisingly, gets it right.
And her lip-syncing is not as bad as I remember. There actually quite good. I guess Cotillard sang the songs, then they dubbed her.
Marion Cotillard gives a very terrible performance, if you ask me. How could see not rise above her over the top makeup? How could she not get Edith's personality right? Why couldn't she play down her bombastic tantrums and breakdowns?
A performance that is constantly referred to as one of the best ever, does not sit well with me at all. A few nice scenes, and does a good job at lip-syncing, but completely fails with her overall performance.