Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life
|Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life|
|Directed by||Joann Sfar|
|Written by||Joann Sfar|
|Music by||Olivier Daviaud|
|Edited by||Maryline Monthieux|
|Distributed by||Universal Pictures France|
|Budget||$18.4 million |
|Box office||$12.2 million |
The film follows notorious musician Serge Gainsbourg's exploits from his upbringing in Nazi occupied France through his rise to fame and love affairs with Juliette Gréco, Brigitte Bardot and Jane Birkin to his later experimentation with reggae in Jamaica. It also incorporates multiple elements of fantasy, most significantly with the character called "The Mug", an animated exaggeration of Gainsbourg that acts as his conscience (or anti-conscience) at crucial moments in Gainsbourg's life. The film also includes many of Gainsbourg's more famous songs, which serve as the soundtrack to the film and often serve as plot elements themselves.
|Eric Elmosnino||Serge Gainsbourg|
|Lucy Gordon||Jane Birkin|
|Laetitia Casta||Brigitte Bardot|
|Doug Jones||La Gueule (Gainsbourg's mug)|
|Deborah Grall||Lise Levitzky|
|Mylène Jampanoï||Bambou (Caroline von Paulus)|
|Anna Mouglalis||Juliette Gréco|
|Sara Forestier||France Gall|
|Philippe Katerine||Boris Vian|
|Philippe Duquesne||Lucky Sarcelles|
|François Morel||The Boarding's Director|
|Claude Chabrol||Gainsbourg's Music Producer|
|Ophélia Kolb||The Model|
|Kacey Mottet Klein||young Serge Gainsbourg (Lucien Ginsburg)|
- Lucy Gordon committed suicide while the film was in post-production, and it is dedicated to her.
The film received mixed to positive reviews. Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reports that 73% of 78 critics gave the film a positive review, for an average rating of 6.2/10. The site's consensus reads, "It might be thinly written and messily made, but Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life is also appropriately glamorous and intense -- and powerfully led by a gripping performance from Erik Elmosnino.". Metacritic gave the film a score of 58 out of 100, based on 26 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".
Unconventional, imaginative, nothing if not audacious, Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life is a portrait of creativity from the inside, a serious yet playful attempt to find an artistic way to tell an emotional truth... the songwriter's life is heroic because he lived deeply in his own imagination and did continual battle with the personal demons who shared that space with him... Screenwriter Sfar's final word on his difficult, fascinating man is "I prefer his lies to his truth," his dreams to his reality. It's not hard to see why.
[M]uch of the best and worst of Gainsbourg— the chat show provocateur and the charismatic performer — can be found on Internet video sites, which makes Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life feel a bit superfluous. Its forays into his private life, including a brief, intense affair with Ms. Bardot and a long, tumultuous relationship with Ms. Birkin, are more dutiful than revelatory. And how can Ms. Casta and Ms. Gordon, both nimble actresses (and quite beautiful), be expected to measure up against real-life goddesses whose images remain ubiquitous and irresistible? The puppets and the music make Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life engaging, but it is also visually hectic and lacks either the dramatic intensity or the arresting insight that might have lifted it out of the pedestrian realm of the admiring biopic.
The film was awarded 3 César Awards on 25 February 2011 including a César Award for Best Actor for Eric Elmosnino, a César Award for Best First Feature Film for Joann Sfar and César Award for Best Sound. It also received an additional 8 nominations.
|Award / Film Festival||Category||Recipients and nominees||Result|
|Cabourg Film Festival||Swann d'Or for Best Actor||Éric Elmosnino||Won|
|César Awards||Best Film||Nominated|
|Best Actor||Éric Elmosnino||Won|
|Best Supporting Actress||Laetitia Casta||Nominated|
|Best First Feature Film||Won|
|Best Cinematography||Guillaume Schiffman||Nominated|
|Best Editing||Marilyne Monthieux||Nominated|
|Best Sound||Daniel Sobrino, Jean Goudier and Cyril Holtz||Won|
|Best Production Design||Christian Marti||Nominated|
|Globes de Cristal Award||Best Actor||Éric Elmosnino||Nominated|
|Lumières Awards||Best Film||Nominated|
|Best Director||Joann Sfar||Nominated|
|Best Actor||Éric Elmosnino||Nominated|
|Magritte Awards||Best Supporting Actress||Yolande Moreau||Nominated|
|Tribeca Film Festival||Best Actor in a Narrative Feature Film||Éric Elmosnino||Won|
- Roger Ebert (4 December 2012). Roger Ebert's Movie Yearbook 2013: 25th Anniversary Edition. Andrews McMeel Publishing. p. 191. ISBN 978-1-4494-2344-5. Retrieved 30 December 2012.
- "Gainsbourg (vie héroïque) (2010)". JP Box Office. Retrieved 20 January 2010.
- "Lucy Gordon, Actress, Dead in Apparent Suicide". Inquisitr.com. 21 May 2009. Retrieved 26 July 2010.
- Samuel, Henry (21 May 2009). "British actress Lucy Gordon found dead in Paris flat". Telegraph. Retrieved 26 July 2010.
- "Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life (2011)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 22 July 2015.
- "Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 22 July 2015.
- Turan, Kenneth (2 September 2011). "'Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life': movie review". latimes.com. Retrieved 7 September 2011.
- A. O. Scott (30 August 2011). "'Gainsbourg - A Heroic Life,' by Joann Sfar - Review - NYTimes.com". Movies.nytimes.com. Retrieved 7 September 2011.