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La Vie d'Artiste

La Vie d'Artiste

By Joffre Agnes


Three characters who dream of being artists. Three failed developments with their hopes, their disillusions, their doubts and their resignations. 

La Vie d'Artiste
La Vie d'Artiste

Alice ( Sandrine Kiberlain) dreams of starring in a film or shining on stage whereas she is dubbing manga and repeatedly fails to get any castings.

Bertrand (Denis Podalydès) , who is trying to finish his second novel, wants to go down in literary history whereas he is teaching in high school.

Cora (Emilie Dequenne)  is a would-be singer who aspires to revive French post-war musical style whereas she is desperately out of fashion and keeps on doing jobs without any interest.



La Vie d'Artiste - Cora
La Vie d'Artiste - Cora

"La Vie d'Artiste" is a choral film which deals with three personal stories that revolve around the same desire for fame. Three failed artists loosing self-confidence and looking for some recognition their work as if glory helps one to feel better as it is said in the "Psychology magazine" which Alice tears up. It turns out to be a kind of funny and melancholic comedy which could be very interesting but which remains unfortunately unsurprising and conventional. Some sequences even verge on clichés. Therefore the main problem is the lack of rhythm: this movie never really manages to take off.


And yet the cast had potential: Sandrine Kiberlain, Emilie Dequenne, Denis Podalydès as the main characters, Grégoire Leprince- Ringuet, Valerie Benguigui, Marilyne Canto as supporting roles and Aure Atika, Stéphane Guillon's participations. Marc Fitoussi got a superb cast for his first feature film and the actors are extraordinary except one big disappointment: Sandrine Kiberlain.


La Vie d'Artiste
La Vie d'Artiste

In fact she is not always subtle and sometimes comes dangerously close to overplaying. She gives the feeling that she is loosing herself in Alice's contradictions between her egocentricity, her temper, her loneliness and her jealousy. She fails to give soul to her character as she never fully inhabits her : unfortunately she can't stand out from the crowd. Such a shame. However Denis Polydès' performance  as a would-be writer is worth noting as is Valérie Benguigui's. Grégoire Leprince-Ringuet confirms his talent and Aure Atika and Stéphane Guillon make appearances which attract attention and give rhythm to the movie. 


So, it's not a great movie but still it has some good points. First of all Marc Fitoussi avoids the fanciful cliché about artistic creation and doesn't say a word about his characters' real capacities. Are they misunderstood or simply lame and vain? Spectators have no idea and therefore they can share these doubts with the characters. In fact it seems that talent doesn't matter that much: it may just be all about luck as Alice's agent said. Moreover as far as rhythm is concerned, the film does get a little faster at the end.


La Vie d'Artiste - Bertrand
La Vie d'Artiste - Bertrand

This movie is pleasant, to be seen with your family and even if it is not a masterpiece it is a nice shot for a first feature. It is very encouraging especially as choral-film style is a high-risk bet. Moreover it makes us think about the artistic world today: Is this really all about luck? Opportunities? Especially opportunities relayed by the media? What  can artists such as Cora, who can't or don't want to fit into society's mould, do? 


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