Marion Cotillard copies Edith Piaf‘s puppetlike mannerisms, her easy, bucktoothed smile, with eerie accuracy. This is the kind of biopic performance people often laud because they see how closely it mirrors the reality of its subject. But this is a good performance in spite of Cotillard’s exacting mimicry.

“Any good actor can imitate tics and mannerisms, but Cotillard has so much life in her that the spirit of Piaf shines through the exaggerated, shrugging gestures and cartoonishly tweaked eyebrows. Cotillard makes the necessary leap between mere impersonation and a bracingly sympathetic rendering of one woman’s suffering, as well as her occasional joys.” — from Stephanie Zacahrek‘s review of La Vie en Rose.