Information for Parents
Common Sense Media says Iffy for 16+
French Edith Piaf biopic sings one lady's blues.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that most kids probably won't be clamoring to see this subtitled biopic about French singer Edith Piaf. Which may be just as well, since her life was difficult, and the movie doesn't skimp on the details of her powerful alcohol and drug addictions. Young teens might need guidance understanding why she's so dependent. Older teens may be able to handle these themes (though there are explicit scenes of intravenous use), but they could still be confounded by both how Piaf was abandoned and mistreated by her parents, relatives, and friends. Though there's a sense that Edith triumphed over adversity, the relentless tragedies may be overwhelming. Expect some swearing and sex (Piaf grows up among prostitutes).
- Families can talk about Piaf's addictions. Why do you think she turned to alcohol and drugs? Did she have any other way to cope with her troubles? What about her singing? How did the media portray her rise and fall? Was Piaf beloved by her fans, warts and all? If she had become famous today, how would the media cover her addictions? Would they harm or help her celebrity?
The good stuff
Positive messages: Full of question marks: Piaf was a disturbed soul who ran around with a rough crowd, including mobsters. Parents abandon their children and beg for money from them; women service men for pay; lots of drinking and drug use; Piaf sings to earn enough francs to eat and get inebriated. Despite the setbacks, Piaf does seem to find respite in her singing, and she manages to lift herself out of poverty through her talents.
What to watch for
Violence: A man hits Piaf; screaming fights and fisticuffs in bars; insults are hurled; drunken tantrums have characters throwing objects; Piaf crashes a car while driving drunk; a prostitute is physically violated by a client; a fairly extended boxing scene includes lots of punches.
Sexy stuff: Piaf grows up among prostitutes in a brothel, and their "business" is portrayed here, including fleeting scenes of half-naked men wandering the halls, sado-masochism (a woman is bound to a bed), and violence (another is physically violated by her client). Some kissing and groping, but few actual sex scenes. One scene shows Piaf in bed with a lover, under covers.
Language: Surprisingly mild, though certainly not clean, considering the subject. Some uses of "s--t" and "bastard" (in subtitles).
Consumerism: Not too much, save for mention of specific song titles.
Drinking, drugs and smoking: A nearly endless parade of alcohol and drug use; Piaf and her friends loved to drink. Later, Piaf and some of her cohorts turn to morphine, and there are scenes of intravenous use, with bloody syringes in full view.