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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

[8.00/10] Coco Avant Chanel (2009)

Coco Avant Chanel (2009)

"Coco Before Chanel" truly is a breath of fresh air in the stagnant summer season at the movies, when the box office is clogged with mindless and saturating Hollywood blockbusters. It is a divine film from Anne Fontaine – a relative newcomer to films of this scope, apart from a few French movies – and is impeccably tailored and coiffed, much like its titular character, with very high production values, an excellent script, glorious music and a soaring performance from its leading lady - Audrey Tautou... a luminous presence on the screen ever since her triumphs in the charming "Amélie" and "A Very Long Engagement". In the film she plays Gabrielle 'Coco' Chanel, as the title suggests, before she was that iconic creature. Her performance is as rich and multi-layered as the material can provide. The film ss not strictly a biopic. It is a rather dreamy interpretation of Chanel's early years – with tendencies for romanticism and historical inaccuracies, and the script written by Fontaine and her sister, Camille, with a treatment from the revered writer, Christopher Hampton can be rather featherweight at times and yet it never outstays its welcome. The lushness of the cinematography and the faithfulness to the period can be attributed to the creative team, whose keen eye for detail, is mesmerizing- from the sprawling estate of Etienne Balsam, to Chanel and Capel's excursion to St. Tropez and the triumphant fashion parade that is the finale, the film has the most wonderful aesthetics I have seen recently. The film certainly nails the patina of pre-war France to a tee. Beautifully made, "Coco Avant Chanel" is a lovely, moving film!

  • My Rating: 8.00/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 66% (6.1/10)
  • IMDb: 6.7/10

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