Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life
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Comic book artist Joann Sfar interprets the life of '60s pop star Serge Gainsbourg (Eric Elmosnino),1921-1991, beginning with his childhood years in Nazi-occupied Paris, through his early years as a painter and jazz musician (brushing shoulders with Boris Vian), to his life as a wildly popular singer-songwriter, notorious bon vivant, and lover of some of the world's most glamorous women. Gainsbourg's two-sided personality (narcissistic and self-loathing) and his over-the-top antics with Brigitte Bardot (Laetitia Casta), Jane Birkin (Lucy Gordon), and beatnik icon Juliette Gréco… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 73%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"It's a comic-strip version of one man's life and times, but it's tres cool."
‑ Joe Williams, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
"French pop star Serge Gainsbourg was as much iconoclast as icon, so it's fitting that this fanciful biopic is both affectionate and irreverent."
‑ Andrea Gronvall, Chicago Reader
"In conjoining Jewish heritage and classic French chanson, Gainsbourg celebrates the hybridity of contemporary French culture, while its combination of realist narrative and poetic animation make it both a touching biopic and an inspired musical."
‑ Ginette Vincendeau, Sight and Sound
"Overall, the film makes a common mistake: it tells what happened to Gainsbourg, but not who he really was."
‑ Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid
"Whatever its faults, it's better than Nine."
‑ Kelly Vance, East Bay Express
"While the movie's on a roll, it's zesty, engaging and frisky."
‑ Trevor Johnston, Time Out
"Alas, "Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life" loses steam and grows more perfunctory as it wears on."
‑ Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle
"I love it when a film surprises me, and "Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life" won me over in the very beginning and held me for the full 122 minutes because of its quirky passion and intelligence."
‑ James Plath, Movie Metropolis
"Very nearly as inventive and fascinating as it is frustrating."
‑ Ken Hanke, Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
"Elmosnino gives a deft and moving performance as the insecure piano player who reinvents himself as Gainsbourg, pop poet and improbable ladies' man, impelled to break taboos not only out of anger, but also to affirm his own existence."
‑ Betsy Sherman, Boston Phoenix
"In short, Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life is a charmer."
‑ Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer
"It's the story of a genius with no moral sense and no interests beyond sensuality. The catchy, insinuating music can only carry you so far."
‑ Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune
"A cartoonist who created a graphic novel about Gainsbourg's life and who has now adapted it to the screen. The result is a film that's as playful as its subject matter although not nearly as provocative or complex."
‑ Beth Accomando,
"Sfar, perhaps understandably, adores the legend of Serge Gainsbourg too much to make the whole nicotine-infused picture anything greater than what it is."
‑ Marc Savlov, Austin Chronicle
"As a musical mischief maker who exuded endless existential ennui, Serge's complexity is just too ungainly for any one biopic - but G:AHL is great starter kit."
‑ Staci Layne Wilson,
More reviews for Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life on Rotten Tomatoes

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