french films > La Vie d'artiste

La Vie d'artiste

La Vie d'artiste

La Vie d'artiste

cast: Sandrine Kiberlain, Emilie Dequenne, Denis Podalydès

year: 2007

colour: yes


director: Marc Fitoussi

runtime: 107

Ostensibly a frothily good-natured French social comedy, Marc Fitoussi’s La Vie d’artiste bristles with trenchant observations and sometimes cruel verities about the frustrations of creative pursuit. Interlocking narratives see three characters pursue their solitary aspirations to artistic excellence. Alice (Kiberlain) has found considerable success providing voice-overs for Japanese anime, but fears that legit recognition in the acting world is slipping out of her grasp. Cora (Dequenne) is a would-be chanteuse working as a karaoke hostess, who reveres the tradition of French chanson, but can’t find her place in the 21st-century pop universe. And Bertrand (a sublimely painful performance by the priceless Denis Podalydès) is a teacher obsessed with completing that elusive second novel, and prepared to compromise himself horribly in the hope of reviving his flagging muse. Disaster, humiliation and bad judgment await all three characters round every corner, but Fitoussi guides his trio to eventual self-knowledge with compassion and satisfying mischief.


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