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Best Actress 2008: Marion Cotillard

You may remember back in July, 2007 Parislogue reviewed ‘La Mome’. I urged fans to see this film at that time. Even if you aren’t a Piaf fan, it’s almost impossible to separate the sounds of Piaf, ‘La Vie en Rose’, with the twisting streets of Montmartre and the image that so many of us retain of the Paris of yesteryear.
Now, it looks like Ms. Cotillard has received a super Valentine’s day gift. The film was originally released on February 14, 2007 and now, a year later, the Valentine’s box of chocolates arrives in the form of not only an Oscar but a Cesar as well.
In January, 2008, I was rooting for Cotillard to win this year’s ‘Best Actress’ saying,”Sometimes a role and an actor are preordained to meet.” Rolling Stone went one step farther – saying that Cotillard’ performance was ‘a performance for the ages’. I heartily agree.
If you’re in Paris this spring, you’ll want to pay hommage to the Little Sparrow. Here are some of the places you might want to drop in:
Edith Piaf Museum
5 Rue Crespin-du-Gast, (11th arrond)
Metro: Menilmontant
Hours: Mon-Wed 1-6 pm and Thurs 9 am to 12 noon
By Appointment only. Tel 01 43 55 52 72
Free admission. Donations gladly accepted.
Pere Lachaise Cemetery.
Piaf is buried in this famous cemetery in northeastern Paris.
Bobino Nightclub
Rue de la Gaite
Metro: Gaite or Edgar Quinet
This is one of the venues were Piaf sang. The newly renovated Bobino has a brand new program. (See Paris Nightlife).
Bernay, Department de l’Eure, Normandy
Bernay is one of the best preserved medieval towns in Normandy (in my opinion). It was virtually untouched during World War II (but damaged during the Hundred Years War!).
The Basilica of St. Therese
Lisieux, Normandy
(When Piaf was temporarily blinded while still a child, a pilgrimage was organized to see St. Therese’s relics – pilgrims still come to Lisieux, the second most important pilgrimage site in France, after Lourdes).
(The new basilica was not completed until the 1950s, but the Carmelite monastery where St. Therese died at a very early age (in her twenties) is located just at the foot of the hill where the huge basilica overlooks the town of Lisieux. Unfortunately Lisieux was not spared from Allied bombings.)
P.S. I also recently saw Edith Piaf’s cat (which had been stuffed) at a movie theater/art show in the Latin Quarter. Has anybody else seen that show? Or does anyone else know whether this was really Piaf’s cat ?