Saturday, 21 July 2007

La Vie En Rose

Tonight I accompanied the parish's new Young Adult Group (18-35) to see La Vie en Rose at a packed cinema in Islington. Marion Cotillard gives a superb portrayal of Edith Piaf, the French singer and national icon - in fact, it's hard to believe that she is lip-synching to Piaf's unique voice.

The heroine, Piaf, is not the most attractive of characters - proud, obstinate and leading a life that caused the Archbishop of Paris to refuse her a Catholic funeral. However, her childlike piety also comes across very strongly. She refuses to go on stage at the Paris Olympia without wearing her crucifix and she is often shown praying before a performance.

Rather unexpectedly, St Therese of Lisieux has a constant and unseen presence in the film. As a child Piaf suffered from blindness (a result, it seems,of keratitis). The kindly prostitutes who cared for her arranged for Piaf to visit the saint's tomb to pray for a recovery. Shortly afterwards she could see again. The saint's influence continued in Piaf's life until the very end, making La Vie en Rose a powerful essay on the efficacy of prayer.

I recommend readers to see the film - and in the meantime, here is the 'Little Sparrow' herself performing her most celebrated song:

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Blogger elena maria vidal said...

Thank you, Father, for the review. I have been awaiting a Catholic viewpoint of the film. I am looking forward to seeing it.

1:40 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No archbishop these days would dare to withhold a Catholic funeral from a famous person.

5:45 am  
Blogger Mrs Jackie Parkes MJ said...

Yes a Priest friend told me about her blindness & St Therese...

11:08 am  

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