From the New York Times:
Piaf, who died in 1963 at 47, a casualty of morphine and alcohol addiction, was a ragamuffin Gallic fusion of Billie Holiday and Judy Garland, but fiercer than either. Ms. Cotillard’s Piaf ages shockingly, from a famished alley cat ravenously slurping up life to a stooped, feeble wreck whose dyed red hair is falling out. It is an entirely convincing portrait of instinctive genius and raw life force wedded to self-destruction.
Held together by the intensity of Ms. Cotillard’s performance, “La Vie en Rose,” which opens commercially in New York and Los Angeles on June 8, is the most memorable of this year’s Rendez-Vous series of 17 films (including one documentary), which runs through March 11. It continues an expansion that began last year, when Rendez-Vous began showing films at the
Leaping around in time, “La Vie en Rose,” like the life it remembers, is a chaotic jumble in which Piaf’s original recordings, embellished with new studio orchestrations, are impeccably lip-synched by the star. The glossy 140-minute film does not sentimentalize its subject until the end, when it jarringly injects a “rosebud” moment from the singer’s past.