Growing up in a Russian-Jewish family in Nazi-occupied Paris, the precocious young Lucien Ginsburg displays the cheek and charm that will become his trademarks. Winning fame in the 1960s as singer-songwriter Serge Gainsbourg, he woos a series of beautiful women, including Brigitte Bardot and Jane Birkin, stirs up controversy and writes a string of classic songs before his death in 1991.
That’s the ‘heroic life’ of French pop icon Serge Gainsbourg as told in comic-book artist Joann Sfar’s offbeat biopic, Gainsbourg, which celebrates its subject’s impudence and flair – and doesn’t linger too long on his sleazier qualities.
Like Serge himself, Sfar’s film is clever and flamboyant, provocative and stylish (though it does lose energy when the singer’s life and career go into decline). And it has tremendous performances by Kacey Mottet Klein as Lucien the child and by Eric Elmosnino as the adult Serge. Looking and sounding uncannily like their real-life counterparts, Laetitia Casta is incandescently sexy as Bardot and Lucy Gordon, who sadly died shortly after completing the film, is charming and touching as Gainsbourg’s English muse Birkin.
Gainsbourg is released on DVD & Blu-ray by Optimum Home Entertainment.