Generally favorable reviews - based on 29 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 29
  2. Negative: 0 out of 29
  1. 100
    Olivier Dahan's La Vie en Rose, one of the best biopics I've seen, tells Piaf's life story through the extraordinary performance of Marion Cotillard, who looks like the singer.
  2. For Piaf fans, La Vie en Rose is a must-see. For fans yet-to-be, Dahan and Cotillard's film is an opportunity rich with discovery.
  3. Olivier Dahan's sprawling portrait of the life of Edith Piaf is the kind of grand, passionate historical drama that no one seems to be able to pull off any more.
  4. 88
    Dahan's impressionistic heartbreaker of a movie gets it all in. And Marion Cotillard, lip-syncing Piaf's songs and digging into her soul with gale-force urgency, gives a performance for the ages.
  5. 88
    It's sometimes wrenching to watch, but it's too gripping to turn away from.
  6. Hurtling and impassioned, driven by some of the greatest popular music ever recorded, this wildly overripe and unkempt biopic is a true experience.
  7. 83
    Cotillard brings honesty to histrionics. She makes Piaf - "the little sparrow" - soar.
  8. Reviewed by: Toddy Burton
    How do you tell the true story of a mythical woman? In epic proportions, of course.
  9. The song for which Piaf is best-known - "Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien" ("No Regrets") - leads to a killer finale with Cotillard perfectly lip-synching Piaf's recording of it. Trust me; you'll want to own it.
  10. 75
    Thanks to the extraordinary performance of Cotillard, who expertly lip- syncs to Piaf recordings and disappears into the part, few will regret seeing La Vie En Rose, named after a famous Piaf tune. Just brace yourself for a film of unvarying intensity that seems longer than its 140-minute running time.
  11. 75
    If even half of Olivier Dahan's robust film about Piaf's life is true -- and let's face it, much remains shrouded in myth and mystery -- it's a wonder she could get dressed in the morning, let alone forge a legendary singing career.
  12. Reviewed by: Kamal AL-Solaylee
    Surprisingly but fittingly, for a film about the life of a singer, the use of songs is generally elliptical.
  13. 75
    It's not an ideal film, but it has the virtue of the ideal star, and that counts.
  14. La Vie en Rose elevates Piaf the archetype over Piaf the artist. Although I question this approach, I'm not sure it could have been done any differently, at least given the facts of Piaf's life. If there is such a way, Duhan didn't find it.
  15. Marion Cotillard astonishes as Edith Piaf in 'La Vie en Rose.
  16. The film is long and sometimes harrowing, but also enthralling.
  17. Cotillard leaves you loving her Piaf, wishing you could reach through the screen and steer her life a bit differently.
  18. Reviewed by: Staff (Not credited)
    There's a riveting tale within this awkward litany of pivotal moments. Still, despite the film's uneven nature, Cotillard's extraordinary performance is worth experiencing.
  19. The film is messy the way Piaf's life was messy: It's unafraid of extravagant gestures even when they fail to come off.
  20. Reviewed by: Anna Smith
    A far-from-rosy life story makes this lengthy biopic entertaining, but despite a strong lead performance it fails to get under Piaf’s skin.
  21. She lip-syncs convincingly to Piaf's songs. Even when she overacts like mad, she makes you think she’s Piaf overacting like mad--the little sparrow with the foghorn pipes.
  22. Reviewed by: Steven Winn
    A feverish, unremitting and grimly joyless film.
  23. 50
    Dahan's filmmaking damn near sabotages the performance.
  24. Reviewed by: Ella Taylor
    Uplifted beyond its merits by a stunning performance from Marion Cotillard, the humdrum biopic of Edith Piaf, La Vie En Rose, jogs obligingly along with Piaf the legend rather than the woman.
  25. 50
    La Vie en Rose, which Mr. Dahan wrote as well as directed, has an intricate structure, which is a polite way of saying that it's a complete mess... In the end, as often happens in movies of this kind, La Vie en Rose is saved by Piaf herself.
  26. Marion Cotillard tears up all the available scenery in this overblown, achronological biopic of French pop singer Edith Piaf.
  27. 42
    For all its florid pretensions and epic length, the film's overwrought take on its subject's not-so-rosy life leaves behind no lasting insight.
  28. Reviewed by: Richard Schickel
    There is no rhyme or reason to this jumble -- except perhaps to stress Edith's endless self-victimization. This lack of narrative coherence naturally has the effect of distancing us from her story.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 84 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 30 out of 36
  2. Negative: 4 out of 36
  1. Aug 13, 2014
    A touching biopic full of soul and passion that is uncommon among today's creations. Cotillard gives a masterful and balanced performance, without being over encumbered by Piaf's complex personality. Beautiful photography that recreates its period settings and an interesting choice to present the story with lots of flashbacks. The main weakness is that its unrestricted use of time gaps somehow prevents the viewers from following the ups and downs of Piaf's life and mental health and makes it more difficult to sympathize. We get to see the most of the drama in the very last part of the film. But, overall, an outstanding effort, filled with Piaf's beautiful music. Full Review »
  2. Oct 20, 2013
    is regular until Marion Cotillard appears she alone can carry the whole movie because his acting sweet and dramatic and also have a harrowing scenes... Full Review »
  3. Sep 23, 2011
    Just as a biopic should be, it's all about one person. If the actress playing Edith Piaf wasn't up to scratch, the film wouldn't work at all. Thankfully, Marion Cotillard is absolutely captivating. The inhabits the role to such an extent that you can forget that you're watching an actress. The film itself, through the way the story is told, is able to manipulate your emotions so effectively that you may find yourself laughing one moment and sobbing fat tears the very next. Piaf's iconic songs also perfectly compliment the story of her remarkable, if tragic life. Full Review »