Friday 30 July 2010

Gainsbourg review

Gainsbourg (15, 135 mins)
Director: Joann Sfar
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆

This choppy biopic of musician Serge Gainsbourg begins with his childhood in France during the war, where a focus on his Judaism comes to nothing, one of a number of irrelevancies that haunts it. As usual with biographical dramas, it offers a lot of sketched incidents with no clean through-line and no particular investment in the drama. All of a sudden it’s the 60s and he’s a pianist and a painter, and later still he’s a famous songwriter and womaniser, as we see how his affair with Bardot inspires his most famous song, Je t’aime. Though it does provide one visually interesting addition in the form of a life sized puppet of Gainsbourg that often appears to him, it’s a film of cigarette smoke and whisky that becomes more and more tiresome the more it focuses on the clichés of rock and roll self-destruction.

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