While **Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life** is a biography, it is also influenced by the surrealistic motion pictures from the 1960s, most notably **Blow Up** and **La Dolce Vita. ** though given the egotistical nature of the title character, the protagonist may have thought that he invented those acclaimed motion pictures.
Born to Jewish parents in Nazi occupied France, the precocious Serge Ginsberg fantasizes about the world around him through music and art. After changing his name to Serge Gainsbourg (Eric Elmosnino), the musician becomes an international pop sensation. Gainsbourg romances the sex symbols of the 1960s (Bridget Bardot, Jane Birkin) and releases controversial music that becomes disguised as elevator music. While physically he grows into an adult, emotionally Serge remains a man child.
Though a bit long, **Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life** is a fascinating motion picture. The ensemble cast is European and the actresses cast as Bardot and Birkin look like twins. Of note, contortionist Doug (**Pan’s Labyrinth**) Jones mimes the part of Gainsbourg’s alter ego with dark and humorous results. Not for all tastes, but **Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life** is visually arresting.