: That's the only way to describe Edith Piaf
La Vie En Rose
, a recent film about her life, is kind of tough to watch in parts. Edith lived with so much
pain! The woman who plays her, Marion Cotillard
, truly becomes Edith and is likely to garner an Oscar nomination for her acting skills. I liked how the film flashes between Edith's life at all different stages and ages-- it's not a linear narrative and that makes it all the more compelling. In rapid succession we see both what Edith becomes and why she became that way, where she has come from.
Piaf's childhood alone is riddled with more drama than most people experience in an entire lifetime: Edith was born in Paris, ditched by her mom and then her dad. The film shows how she lived for a time in a brothel and was cared for by the prostitutes there. She goes through a period of being blind due to ill health. One day her father comes back for her and takes her off on the road with (of course!) the circus, where he is a contortionist. When pops quits the circus, he is forced to perform in the streets for change, and one day he pushes Edith out and tells her to "Do something", so she opens her mouth and sings. With her warbley voice and energetic charisma, she's a hit from the get-go.
From there Edith's life takes off in many different directions and she eventually became the singer we have all enjoyed. She's got such a dramatic and intense personality and it bleeds right into her performances! Before watching this film I really had no idea about her back story, other than (of course) that she was French and called "The Sparrow." Her life was full of roughness and not much love, except when she was on stage performing. The film does a good job of showing how Edith becomes addicted to many things, but especially to performing on stage. It's the one place she can feel flawless. Her life shifts quickly and often between the highest highs and the lowest lows. It's both compelling and painful to watch.