French Letter Music Blog


French Letter

Serge Gainsbourg film: Irish release

Jul 24

Written by:
Saturday, July 24, 2010  RssIcon

'Gainsbourg', Joann Sfar's disappointing biopic of France's greatest ever pop star, opens in Irish cinemas on 30 July.

You'll remember that we reviewed it in detail here when it first came out in France back in January. Just to recap: the first half-hour featuring the boy Lucien Ginsburg is energetic and promising, but the rest of the movie (focusing on the adult Serge Gainsbourg) is merely a series of clumsy caricatures with no character development or motivation. Ever wondered how the worldwide scandal and fame of 'Je T'aime (Moi Non Plus)'still pop's most notorious single, affected Serge and Jane Birkin? Well, you won't find out from this film.

That said, if you're a Francophile you'll probably find it interesting enough. The initial concept - personifying Gainsbourg's self-doubt as a cartoonish alter-ego - is quite clever, even if Sfar makes it carry too much of the film's dramatic weight. Eric Elmosnino, an astounding dead-ringer for Gainsbourg, is watchable throughout. Still, the whole film survives on the good-will created by its entertaining first act.

Music-lovers will get little insight on the creative processes of a genuine pop genius: Serge is just shown serving up ready-prepared classics like 'Comic Strip'. Non-francophiles will quickly tire of seeing French stars impersonated for the amusement of a French cinema audience.

However, if this film and its publicity help introduce Irish audiences to Serge's 1967-71 golden period, some of the most thrilling and influential pop music ever made, then it will have done some good. 

Looking very cool indeed, here's Serge Gainsbourg smoking along to his magnificent 'Initials B.B.':

Location: Blogs Parent Separator French Letter

Your name:
Gravatar Preview
Your email:
(Optional) Email used only to show Gravatar.
Your website:
Security Code
Enter the code shown above in the box below
Add Comment   Cancel 


Aidan Curran, based in Paris, has been writing for CLUAS since 2004. More info about Aidan...

Is your Irish band playing in France? Your French band playing in Ireland? Let us know, along with anything else you think we might be interested in.

E-mail: frenchletter(at)

Live from the boulevards and venues of Paris - follow French Letter on Twitter!
French Letter updates and the latest non-Paris stuff too - check out CLUAS on Facebook!



Best French Music

Blogs and sites we like 


CLUAS blogs

Check out these other CLUAS blogs:

Archived Articles

All 'French Letter' articles published between January 2006 and March 2007 have been archived.

RSS Feed

Copy and paste this link into your RSS aggregator of choice  Subscribe