6 March 2015 | dbdumonteil
Chaos and creation in the background
In a very average Serge Gainsbourg biopic,Leatitia Casta ,cast as Brigitte BARDOT ,was the stand out :she perfectly recreated BB's voice.
Playing the part of Arletty was attempting the impossible :such an actress was unique and inimitable;against all odds ,Casta achieved the impossible :she 's very convincing as Arletty whose voice and silhouette are known by every French cine buff.
"Les Enfants Du Paradis" ,many consider the best movie of all the French cinema showed intimate connections between theater and real life ;the MTV film,in its own way ,does the same :whilst she's working on her greatest role,she 's living a doomed passion (the scene with Baptiste's son is revealing).
The movie does not really take sides:it will not tell you whether the actress was right to make love with a German officer ;"I 'm on the side of love".As Frederic Mitterrand pointed out in a documentary ,Arletty lived through two wars ;the first one took her first love "Ciel" from her in the first days of the conflict;she swore then she would never have a child who would become a soldier;her abortion makes sense even though it would have been a bad time for the child of a French icon and an enemy.
The lesbian affair with Antoinette is less known -although Arletty's bisexuality was no secret . This strange menage à trois illustrates Prévert' s "Je Suis Comme Je Suis"(=I am what I am),Arletty's motto ,a popular actress who was in love with a (female) resistant fighter and a handsome German officer .
The price to pay was hard and her career was partly broken;when she appeared in the part of Blanche Dubois in Williams' "a streetcar named desire" in 1949-which is shown in the movie-,she was almost booed off the stage,but she carried on ,in spite of the catcalls ,and when the play was over,she must have won them over ,cause she got a standing ovation.Such was the talent of the lady.
Maybe the ending is a bit hurried,and the famous "atmosphere" line was not absolutely necessary ,but the lines are generally witty ,some of them authentic (the famous line about her international ass was reportedly suggested by Henri Jeanson ,who wrote the screenplay for "Hotel Du Nord").Many celebrities are featured :poet Jacques Prévert and director Marcel Carné ,Sacha Guitry,Jean-Louis Barrault....
An excellent TV movie which almost beat the "experts" TV series :not a small feat!