Wednesday, December 12, 2007

"La môme," etc.

While at my buddy Dominique's house, I had the chance to watch "La môme," the 2007 biopic about the life of French singer Edith Piaf. I just found a nicely written review of the movie by Roger Ebert (good to see he's back in the saddle), and two YouTube clips of an interview with Piaf (first and second halves). "La môme" (retitled "La Vie en Rose" in the States) is a tour de force for actress Marion Cotillard, who puts an incredible amount of energy into her performance. To be honest, I had never actually watched the real Piaf perform until just a few minutes ago as I was scanning YouTube clips. Cotillard's performance is, from what I've just seen of the actual Piaf interviews and performances, pretty much spot-on. If you haven't seen this movie yet, I recommend it.

Speaking of movies, I finally had the chance to catch up on my movie deficit: on the plane from France to Korea, I watched "The Simpsons Movie" and "The Bourne Ultimatum." Both were quite entertaining, though I found myself somewhat annoyed by the relentlessly chug-chug nature of the score for "Bourne." The music for the ending credits of "The Simpsons Movie," by contrast, was hilarious: Hans Zimmer, who isn't one of my favorite composers, pulled off an interesting musical trick by turning the ending credits into an auditory parody of the works of Danny Elfman, John Williams, and John Barry. I was laughing as I listened to that score; my seatmate might have been wondering what the big deal was, as the only thing on my tiny chair-back screen was a stream of scrolling credits. I admit my respect for Zimmer has gone up a notch; I normally find his scores vapid and unmemorable, and I never guessed he had such a fiendish knack for parody. Give your DVD a listen and you'll know what I mean: the oompa-loompa Elfman is in those ending credits (Elfman is, of course, the creator of the original Simpsonic theme), as are the sprightly marches of Williams and the grandiose "Dances with Wolves" leitmotifs of Barry.

I still haven't gone to look for dinner. I really should do that now.


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