A review of this — 5 years ago
To be honest, I watched the movie in short spurts over two days, so I can’t be quite sure if I wasn’t blown away by the film because of the constant interruptions or because I simply felt that way. However, I did like it – I liked the director’s editing method of jumping around chronologically. Without that, it would have felt like a very familiar biopic arc – rags to riches/fame, drugs, love affairs (see also Ray, Walk the Line, any Elvis story, etc.). What makes the film unique and wonderful is the performance of Marion Cotillard, who deservedly was nominated for an Oscar. I have liked her in her previous films that I had seen (Big Fish, Love Me If You Dare, A Very Long Engagement), and yet I did not recognize her at all. A complete transformation. I had been complaining recently about the last few years of biopic shoe-ins for Best Actor and Actress because people tend to praise them higher than a character an actor creates out of whole-cloth, but this is one time I have no complaints. The make-up was also wonderfully done.