Berlin opener's star deftly handles press

The hardest part was the death scene. So said the charming star of the Edith Piaf biopic “La Vie en Rose,” which kicked off the Competition Thursday night.

Marion Cotillard, who is almost certainly a strong best actress contender here in Berlin, came off smelling like a “Rose” after deftly handling myriad questions about her raspy-voiced performance from the largely Euro press Wednesday.

How well did she know the Piaf story? Just a few morceaux until she got the role and immersed herself in the story. Did she think the chanteuse still spoke to the younger generation in Europe? That one she parried modestly.

Her co-stars on stage — Pascal Greggory, Clotilde Coureau, Jean-Pierre Martins, among them — were blithely ignored; the pic’s director Olivier Dahane spent his hour on the podium mostly in auteurish pose, but did deign to explain what inspired him to make such a movie.

He had no interest in making a conventional biopic but rather was moved by Piaf’s roller-coaster life to draw “an intimate, very subjective portrait.” The message of the movie? There is none that’s not on the screen itself.

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