You don’t expect to see anti-Semitic puppets in a biopic of a Gallic chanteur, a surreal flourish which automatically lifts Joann Sfar’s imaginative take on Serge Gainsbourg above the ordinary.
Yet it is Sfar’s contention that the perma-smoking purveyor of smutty Europop had a king-sized chip about his Jewish blood, embodied by a yellow-eyed, hook-nosed golem (Doug Jones) who accompanies him on his journey to enfant terrible stardom.
It helps to know about Serge’s life, if only to correctly identify Juliette Gréco (Anna Mouglalis), Brigitte Bardot (Laetitia Casta) and Jane Birkin (Lucy Gordon).
But even if you don’t, the trajectory will feel all too familiar: that of a gifted iconoclast brought low by his demons, addictions and inability to compromise.
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