Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life

Rated NR 130 minutes 2010

Whatever his accomplishments as a singer-songwriter (“Bonnie and Clyde,” “Je t’aime”) and TV-movie personality, French cult icon Serge Gainsbourg (1928-1991) was celebrated for his exploits in the sack. This frothy live-action-and-animation biopic gives us the full Serge, as cheeky Russian-Jewish immigrant Gainsbourg cuts a swath through Juliette Greco (Anna Mouglalis), Brigitte Bardot (Laetitia Casta), Jane Birkin (Lucy Gordon), and numerous other Sixties-Seventies birds on his way to discotheque immortality in a cloud of Gauloise smoke. Gainsbourg (played by actor Eric Elmosnino) was the ideal bohemian — a total outsider, yet in. And writer-director Joan Sfarr, adapting his own graphic novel, captures his appeal in terms of the ultimate male fantasy: a slightly built, chain-smoking, nerdish, out-of-tune chanteur whom big, lusty women couldn’t get enough of. Drags a bit in the middle third, but whatever its faults, it’s better than Nine. Keep an eye out for auteur Claude Chabrol, in cameo as Gainsbourg’s baffled musical producer. (122 min.)

Film Credits

Official Site:

Director: Joann Sfar

Producer: Marc du Pontavice and Didier Lupfer

Cast: Eric Elmosnino, Lucy Gordon, Laetitia Casta, Doug Jones, Anna Mouglalis, Mylène Jampanoï, Sara Forestier, Kacey Klein, Razvan Vasilescu, Dinara Drukarova, Philippe Katerine, Yolande Moreau and Deborah Grall

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