Gainsbourg (2010) opens with a young paramour informing an equally young Serge of his unattractive mug, a striking contrast to the sexual mellifluence of his later life. Silly girl, if only she had known.

Sfar’s film chronicling Serge Gainsbourg’s life is appropriately tongue-in-cheek and obviously chic. Yet, it is filled with too many fleeting vignettes to establish an engrossing narrative: the audience is catapulted from occupied Paris, to Bardot, to Birkin without pause, Gainsbourg’s expansive existence encapsulated in a mere two hours. With the puff of a Gauloises it is more the myth than the man, which is impressed. A man who by the power of his voice, undressed the best.

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