Watch Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life
- 2 hr 10 min
Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life is a French biographical drama film that delves into the life of the iconic French singer and songwriter, Serge Gainsbourg. Directed by Joann Sfar and released in 2010, the film is a cinematic tribute to one of the most influential artists in French music history. The film revolves primarily around the character of Serge Gainsbourg, played by Eric Elmosnino. The story starts in the early years of Serge's life as a young child in Nazi-occupied France. It then takes us through his teenage years, his early struggles as a composer and songwriter, his rise to fame and his eventual downfall. Throughout the movie, we witness a complex and fascinating character study of Gainsbourg. Sfar manages to portray the enigmatic musician's many facets accurately. Serge is depicted as alternately charming, self-destructive, egotistical, and vulnerable. The film's pacing is a particular strength. It does not follow a linear chronology, but rather dips in and out of Serge's life, depicting pivotal moments from different periods almost collage-like fashion. The movie consistently shifts perspectives from the personal to the public life of Serge Gainsbourg. The movie does not shy away from the delicate and controversial moments in the musician's life, such as his unhealthy relationships with women, his heavy drinking, and his dangerous addiction to smoke. Nonetheless, the film does not judge, but rather attempts to present a balanced portrayal of Gainsbourg that leaves room for the audience to make their conclusions. Music is naturally an integral part of the film. We get to see how Serge developed his unique style, his songwriting process, and his collaborations with some of the leading artists of his time. The film features incredible performances from Elmosnino as Gainsbourg himself and the brilliant actress Laetitia Casta, who plays numerous women in his life. Serge's romances were often tumultuous, and Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life accurately portrays his affairs with Brigitte Bardot and Jane Birkin. This is especially evident in how the film depicts the different facets of these two women and their impacts on Serge's life. As a whole, the film portrays Serge in a somewhat romanticized light, but it does not ignore or justify his flaws. It provides a balance of admiration and critique of his somewhat tumultuous and sometimes obscene personality. One of the ways the film differs from other music biopics is its highly surrealistic style. The movie features artistic choices such as animated sequences and wild flights of imagination that perfectly illustrate the musician 's surreal approach to his art. These sequences add a highly inventive and creative dimension to the film. Overall, Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life is a must-see for all those interested in the life of Serge Gainsbourg, French music history, and biographical films in general. The movie provides a complex, poignant, and beautifully crafted portrayal of one of the most influential French artists of all time. The performances, the music, the cinematography, and the story all come together to create an engrossing and incredibly moving cinematic experience.