Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life

Rated NR

It’s presumptuous to title a biopic A Heroic Life, especially given Serge Gainsbourg’s accomplishments, but he is a French icon, and this is a French movie. There, Gainsbourg was and remains an unassailable legend, so the title is probably location-appropriate. The trouble is, Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life (based on a graphic novel by writer-director Joann Sfar) is so in love with the French Bob Dylan that there’s simply no objectivity. As Gainsbourg, Eric Elmosnino is great, and it must have been an incredible role to play. The man’s diet of nicotine, women and alcohol—not necessarily in that order—makes it hard for Elmosnino to go too far in his portrayal. It’s a fun ride, and it’s a good primer on some of Gainsbourg’s highlights (and high life). But “heroic?” Not in any language.

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