What to do on a cold, windswept, drizzly Friday evening on the edge of London? The choice is huge, of course, but it provided the perfect opportunity for a girly night-in, with the chance to catch-up on a film we'd long been wanting to see. My lovely friend prepared the delicious, healthy dinner (Med-inspired baked sweet potato with ratatouille, feta and sundried tomatoes...) with a bottle of rosé; I provided the DVD of La Vie en Rose. It had special significance for me, as I used to 'do' Piaf, when I worked for Club Med (many moons ago...). Way back then - as a French BA Hons student - I was still naïve with much to learn about life and la môme Piaf.
Even if you haven't managed to catch the film yet, you'll most likely be aware of it, as lead - Marion Cotillard - recently (deservedly) won both the Oscar and the BAFTA for her rôle. 32-year-old, Cotillard, truly lives the part, from the voice to the demeanor, providing a thought-provoking, deeply moving insight into the short-lived, tragic incident-packed life of this tiny-in-stature yet monumentally significant, French cultural icon. Gérard Dépardieu makes a brief but crucial appearance as Leplée, the man who 'discovered' Gassion, (Piaf's real name) and put her on the iconic map. The film is beautifully shot, from the Parisian street scenes to the evocative restaurant settings and the poignant apartment interludes.
Francophile, or not, if you like Piaf's voice, it's sure to spur you on to find out more about her and realise there's so much more to her than fronting a Specsavers advert (quel horreur!). Tip: if you want your own copy of the DVD, for less than the price of a film ticket, shop around - Borders and Amazon have great offers currently.