(aka 'La Môme' or 'Edith Piaf' or 'The Passionate Life of Edith Piaf' or 'Untitled Edith Piaf Project' or 'La Vie en rose')

Directed by Olivier Dahan
France / UK / Czech Republic 2007

 

With the notable exception of 32 Short Films About Glenn Gould — a movie every bit as singular and uncompromising as its subject — every musical biopic ever made looks more or less the same. Humble origins, early opportunity, creation of signature sound, rise to fame, relationship hassles, loneliness of the road, substance abuse, death and/or decline with optional comeback. La Vie en Rose, Olivier Dahan's long, extravagant portrait of Edith Piaf, only demonstrates that French music-hall warblers lived through the exact same clichés as their hard-rocking counterparts in Britain and America. Dahan does his best to shake things up by opening with the "elderly" Piaf — she died at forty-seven, looking a good twenty years older — and then skipping back and forth in time, juxtaposing the struggling nobody with the ailing legend. But this approach only underlines the genre's inherent shapelessness, making each scene feel like a self-contained factoid (crippling conjunctivitis! car accident! accused of conspiracy in a gangland murder!) rather than part of any dramatic or even thematic progression.

Excerpt from Mike D'Angelo at Nervepop.com located HERE

 

Posters

Theatrical Release: February 8th, 2007 - Berlin Film Festival

Reviews    More Reviews    DVD Reviews

DVD Comparison:

HBO Home Video (Extended Version) - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Sony/TVA Films - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

1) HBO Home Video (Extended Version) - Region 1 - NTSC LEFT
2) Sony/TVA Films - Region 'A' - Blu-ray RIGHT

 

DVD Box Cover

Distribution HBO Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC Sony TVA Films - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Runtime 2:20:15  2:20:30
Video 2.35:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.58 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s 

2.35:1

Feature: 22.09 Gig

1080i Single-layered Blu-ray

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

Bitrate: TVA (Blu-ray)

NO BITRATE GRAPH FOR Blu-ray YET!

Audio French (Dolby Digital 5.1)  French (TrueHD 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1) 
Subtitles English, French, Spanish, None English (non-removable)
Features

Release Information:
Studio: HBO Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1

Edition Details:

• Featurette: Stepping Into Character (4:3 - 7:22)

DVD Release Date: November 13th, 2007

Keep Case
Chapters: 15

Release Information:
Studio: Sony TVA Films

Aspect Ratio:
2.35:1

Feature: 22.09 Gig

1080i Single-layered Blu-ray

Edition Details:

• Featurette: Stepping Into Character (4:3 - 7:22)

• HD trailer (1:15)

DVD Release Date: October 28th, 2008

Standard Blu-ray case
Chapters: 15

 

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were ripped directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: TVA/Sony Blu-ray - October 08': TVA is out of Quebec, Canada and I believe this may be their first Blu-ray. Presently, it appears that it can only be purchased at Amazon through their Canadian division - Amazon.ca (which does ship world-wide!) It's a fabulous film to choose but their release has a few weaknesses. It is interlaced (or 1080i) and shows some minor combing (see sample below). It also has enforced English subtitles.

NOTE: I had trouble matching all the captures so some are a few frames off.

Despite the transfer limitations the image is still vastly superior to the 2007 SD-DVD from HBO which now looks a shade green. The film is fairly dark through many scenes so the Blu-ray doesn't get a chance to shine excepting in close-ups and the Cotillard-as-Piaf performances (which are magnificent - worth watching the film for only this.) Colors seem a shade truer but its the detail and visible instances of film grain that greatly improve the Blu-ray presentation.

Audio, a BIG portion of this film, also goes to the new Canadian Blu-ray. The TrueHD track was just that much tighter and extravagantly improved the music, singing and Christopher Gunning's delicate original soundtrack. Even my ears could detect the improvement. It includes an option for Dolby 5.1 as well.

Extras also go the way of the Blu-ray with the duplicate 7 minute featurette plus an HD trailer.

So although this Canuck Blu-ray is imperfect - it harkens to a superior 1080 release in the future. You can sign-up for one in the US HERE or possibly one coming from the UK (hoping it will be region-free). This is a tremendous film with a tour-de-force performance and it really deserves a progressive 1080 transfer and possibly a commentary and further extras.

****

On the HBO SD-DVD: I'm reviewing this DVD essentially because I loved this film so much. I recall listening to recordings of Edith Piaf when I was quite young - marveling at her emotional grasp and have heard nothing that compared as I matured to an adult. This is a beautiful portrait of a true, and rare, artist.

HBO usually make very good DVDs and this is no exception. A competent progressive, dual-layered and anamorphic transfer coded for region 1 in the NTSC standard. Clean image with delicate contrast even amongst some intentional dramatic lighting shifts. Detail is occasionally strong. I really had no complaints what-so-ever with the way this film looked on SD DVD. I'd be curious as to how it could escalate in high-definition (hopefully it will one day).

The only supplement is a 7 minutes featurette entitled 'Stepping Into Character'. where the principles of the cast and crew give remarks on the film and Edith Piaf. I was blown away by this film and especially the stunning performance from Marion Cotillard - I really enjoyed every minute of it and strongly recommend this engrossing biopic - on this HBO DVD.  

Gary W. Tooze

 



DVD Menus


 

Blu-ray Extras:

 


Combing visible - Interlaced Blu-ray

 

 

 

Subtitle Sample

 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

1) HBO Home Video (Extended Version) - Region 1 - NTSC TOP
2) Sony/TVA Films - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


 

Screen Captures - Some are exact frames!

 

1) HBO Home Video (Extended Version) - Region 1 - NTSC TOP
2) Sony/TVA Films - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) HBO Home Video (Extended Version) - Region 1 - NTSC TOP
2) Sony/TVA Films - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) HBO Home Video (Extended Version) - Region 1 - NTSC TOP
2) Sony/TVA Films - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) HBO Home Video (Extended Version) - Region 1 - NTSC TOP
2) Sony/TVA Films - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM
 

 


1) HBO Home Video (Extended Version) - Region 1 - NTSC TOP
2) Sony/TVA Films - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM
 

 


1) HBO Home Video (Extended Version) - Region 1 - NTSC TOP
2) Sony/TVA Films - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM
 

 

 


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DVD Box Cover

Distribution HBO Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC Sony TVA Films - Region 'A' - Blu-ray




 

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