The biopic may not be the most exciting of genres but this particular one comes with a French accent, cigarette smell and a faint whiff of scandal. Meet Gainsbourg and his heroic life.
The annoucement came a couple of years back that Universal's first French production would involve Serge Gainsbourg and an impressive cast of crème de la crème actors, an explosive mix. Laetitia Casta as Bardot, Anna Mouglalis as Juliette Greco... Modern-day myths and past legends. The idea of a foul-mouthed, blasphemous and rumoured to be incestuous (amongst other things) French singer, actor, director may seem an unlikely export for the overseas market but as it is the Hollywood studio decided to take the gamble, spurred on by the director's "cutting-edge creativity and unique take on the character".
The director's background as a comics author translates into an interesting approach mixing flesh, blood, puppets and a talking cat (a clever metaphor for the notoriously feline Juliette Greco). What critics have deemed the highlight however is former model Laetitia Casta's eye-catching, show-stealing incarnation of the other legend that was the young Brigitte Bardot. Gainsbourg is transfixed and terrfied and to a large extent so are we!
In the meantime the film has gone on to become a myth in its own right due to rather dark circumstances; British actress Lucy Gordon turned Jane Birkin on screen went on to commit suicide and while it had nothing to do with the production the film, rightly so, was dedicated to her memory.
Hype, death and sex... what else?
Source: The Guardian
Photo credits: Images and footage from "Gainsbourg (Vie Heroique)"