La Vie En Rose
It's no secret that Edith Piaf had her troubles. No voice so beautifully pained and tragic could come from someone who did not herself know sadness so well. It follows that La Vie en Rose attempts to tell us Piaf's story using epic proportions. It needs them; this is, after all, the story of a girl who quite literally sung herself out of the gutter and became Paris's most quintessential sound. Marion Cotillard as Piaf is masterful and engaging to the point that her portrayal of the tormented genius is often hard to watch. Writer and Director Olivier Dahan lays it on thick, choosing to focus unflinchingly on Piaf's descent into the darker realms of life; addiction, self-criticism, jealousy, illness and, ultimately, tragically, madness. But for this biopic, as with Piaf's desperate and torturous life, her music makes it all worthwhile.
30 Days of Night
Vampire movies are for ageing comic book readers who used to draw the cleavage of female superheroes in their Geography textbooks. Or so we thought until Blade came along. With that film we learned that there was more to the genre than Sarah Michelle Gellar, which meant that the world at large could take its hands down from over its eyes and stop saying 'Make her go away'. 30 Days of Night picks up where the Blade Trilogy rather weakly left off – Blade Trinity being three times worse than its predecessors – and reinvents the Vampire film once again. Josh Hartnett is a cop in an Alaskan town that falls into darkness for 30 days each year. Nobody can get out, nobody can get in. There are vampires in town. Any more and I'll ruin it. Suffice it to say that 30 Days does the job, even for those of us who don't dress for Halloween all year round.