Thursday, April 1, 2010

Marion Cotillard in "La Vie En Rose"

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.

20 comments:

Twister said...

Two statuettes! That's generous!

I love how a certain performance can seem brilliant to one, but is worthless dung to someone else. And you know what I mean!

Sage Slowdive said...

Yeah...sorry to say for everyone who loves it.

joe burns said...

I thought this would be zero stars! Well, I'll have to give it another try since I can't really remember this performance. The movie was AWFUL!

Sage Slowdive said...

Surprisingly I didn't think the movie was that bad...just the director wants to constantly throw things that shouldn't be together at you.

joe burns said...

Oh. Why didn't you like Cotillard in Nine?

Sage Slowdive said...

A better question would be why didn't I like anyone in Nine....all flimsy performances brought down by the incredible train-wreck of a movie.

joe burns said...

Yeah, the movie was very disappointing. What do you think is Julie Christie's best performance? I thought she was better in Darling then Away From Her, but she was brilliant in both!

Sage Slowdive said...

I shouldn't say because her best performances where all nominated.

Robert said...

It is interesting how people can see such different things out of a performance. I loved reading this, for so long I could never understand the Cotillard hate because I loved her performance so much but when you put it like that it totally makes sense! I need to revisit "La Vie en Rose".

joe burns said...

Did you think Cotillard had the best shot at beating Christie? Or that Ellen Page had a shot?

Sage Slowdive said...

I frankly didn't think anyone could beat Christie.

joe burns said...

I think that Gordon Pinsent should have gotten a nomination. He was just as good as Christie was. And maybe Olympia Dukakis as well.

Fritz said...

For me, one of the greatest performances in movie history! Brings acting to a new level! But everyone has different taste! :-)
You know my review for her performance, so I don't need to say more. :-)

Sage Slowdive said...

Well, you're not alone Fritz :)

Fritz said...

But you're not alone, either! I know that this is a performance that splits the audience. In various forums, when people list this decade's winners, Marion is always either first or last. People either hate her or love her, there seems to be nothing in between. I have heard people calling her performance "a chipmunk on drugs" which I find incredibly funny. I think that such extreme performance simply evoke extreme reactions. I know it will be a shock to you, but I also know people who hate Charlize Theron in "Monster"...

Sage Slowdive said...

Nope, I've heard the same argument that applies to both of them - over the top and beautiful actresses going ugly.

And I don't even think Charlize was wearing makeup...besides the sprayed on freckles.

Sage Slowdive said...

Let me just remind all the ignorant people of the world, this is just MY opinion, so please refrain from posting your idiocy here.

Twister said...

I feel you Sage. It seems these days that if someone has a different opinion than you, they come charging with pitchforks. Like we have different opinions, but we respect each others.

The fan boys out there are brutal and annoying beyond belief! AKA - The Dark Knight. Ugh...

Sage Slowdive said...

LOL, well I got a comment telling me I didn't understand what I was talking about and I was mean spirited.

Twister said...

You know those proper, "politically correct" douchebags whose heads are firmly placed up their asses.

You just have your style which is honest and modest. I like StinkyLulu's writing, but he takes so damn long to follow up on anything!