Movie Review: Sagan (2008)

| 12 October , 2010 | Reply

Keeva Stratton, Quip Creative

Directed by: Diane Kurys
Starring Sylvie Testud

For those unfamiliar with the work of Francoise Sagan, she was a famous French novelist who first shot to fame in 1954 with her first novel Bonjour Tristesse (Hello Sadness). One of the literary icons of her generation, Sagan was adored by many in her circle and was known to indulge in the excesses of fame. An international success at 18, Sagan defied the conventions of her time, and forged a reputation as somewhat of a cult literary antihero, who managed to distill the melancholy of youth and the spirit of a disenfranchised bourgeois generation.

While her writing made her famous, it was her prominent affairs with famous men and women alike, as well as her flamboyant habits, addictions and revolutionary shared living arrangements, that largely sparked the public\’s interest. In Sagan, the bio pic by French director Diane Kurys, the writer\’s now infamous life is portrayed with a similar sense of romance and tragedy that she herself offered her readers through her renowned body of work.

Sylvie Testud, the French actress who plays Sagan, shares an eerie visual likeness to the lady herself, making her portrayal that much more intriguing. She is able to capture the humanity and the theatrics of this unique icon with aplomb, and her performance is both engaging and starkly funny. The many co-characters that inhabit Sagan\’s world also prove to be charming, witty and full of life, adding depth and humour to make for a well-rounded and entertaining script.

As someone relatively unfamiliar with Sagan\’s work, I found that the film not only offered a very enjoyable insight into this talented figure, but also served to provoke my curiosity to further investigate and discover the literary legacy left behind by behind this woman, which I have now since started to explore.

All too often bio pics tend to glamourise and idolise their subject in striving for the required broad degree of great drama – thankfully, Sagan defies this trend and shows this artist for her foibles, frailties and fabulousness all at once. Perhaps twenty minutes too long, but entertaining viewing nonetheless, Sagan offers a wonderful glimpse into the esoteric and intriguing world of a great modern mind and a deeply fascinating personality – like the work of the writer herself, this film is well worth experiencing.

Sagan is in cinemas now.

Courtesy of Nixco


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Category: Film & TV

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