Monday, August 17

Coco Before Chanel

(No spoilers)
Over the weekend I finally had a chance to see the long-awaited Coco Avant Chanel. It’s always exciting when a film opens in the UK before it does in the US, as is rarely the case. The astonishingly beautiful Audrey Tautou, best known for her role in the 2001 French film Amelie, is mesmerizing as Gabriel ‘Coco’ Chanel.

I have been thinking about Anne Fontaine’s beautiful biopic all weekend, trying to get my head around the portrayal of the young woman who would become the grande dame of 20th-century couture.

Like many, I have long been fascinated by Chanel’s fragility, power and resolve. No question she was tenacious and very clever. The fact that, “She made up things up”, the first sentence from Axel Madsen’s book Chanel: A Woman of Her Own, hooked me immediately. She fabricated life to a point that her official biographer gave up in frustration because she would not admit to the most readily verified facts, including her time in the orphanage.

Without a doubt, the cinematography is stunning and the film is highly entertaining. I would absolutely recommend it to anyone that is a fan of Chanel; however, I personally felt that it never really conveyed the great lengths she went to in order to create her life story. Perhaps this is due to the fact that the film was made with the collaboration of the house of Chanel.

Coco Avant Chanel will be playing stateside September 25th. I look forward to hearing thoughts from all the American readers next month. You can read a fantastic review written by my friend and journalist Alison Kerr.

By Ronda Carman

17 comments:

The Gardener's Eden said...

Thank you for this review. I can't wait to see this film... and your comment on the cinematography only adds to my anticipation. The stills here on your blog are just gorgeous.
-Michaela

bess said...

So looking forward to seeing this one!

Karena said...

Another movie on my list to see! Coco Chanel is such an icon of fashion and I love Audrey Tatou, especially in Amelie.

Vitania said...

Oh My Goodnes- I seriously cannot wait for this film - thanks for the teaser !!

Ideezine said...

Ronda,

I'm looking forward to this movie arrival as well. Having a sewing/designing background and now being an interior designer I know what her resolve was all about.

You can't contain a mystery or capture an illusion.

Bette

Heather @ what's blooming this week said...

Thanks for the peep at what I'm sure will be a great movie. And thanks for no spoilers.

My current passion is "Julie & Julia", a great biopic/dramedy....have you seen it yet?

Heather

solefans said...

Wow,not bad!

www.solefans.com said...

I can't wait any longer!

Chichi and Luxe said...

hi from australia :)
although this movie portrayed a different slant to her life than i expected, i still thoroughly enjoyed it!
what an inspiring woman.

Lisa said...

Hi Ronda,

I totally agree with you re the Chanel movie. It left a lot of imformation out about her time setting up her business and the numerous affairs she had which were not portrayed in the movie.

Lisa (Australia)

Tina Steele Lindsey Art said...

I am excited and intriqued. I had no idea a movie was being filmed about Coco Chanel! Thanks!

Down Comforter said...

Can't wait to see it! Hopefully it will play close to where I live!

AB HOME Interiors said...

I too cannot wait for this film to hit the states. Coco inspires me to such great lengths in these difficult times. She persevered despite a jarring youth, a war that created a cruel business climate, and the loss of her only true love.
I think we often think that those in a high profile business live a charmed life. When in fact they are dealing with life's demons just as we are. As a business owner struggling to keep my company up and running during these arduous times I am constantly influenced by Coco's life. I don't know why I relate to her, other than the fact that she had many unfathomable circumstances complicate her life and she still managed to create couture. Taking those lemons and making couture lemonade!

City Living Girl said...

I was just reading a review in Bazaar Mag. Can't wait!

Theresa Cheek said...

Nice blog....just found you! I am also waiting for the film to come to the states. I would love to see something done on Madelaine Castaing......

ALL THE BEST said...

Ohhhh...Madelaine Castaing would be fantastic!

Ann Shumbo said...

This is the first time I have seen your blog. I love it and can't wait to read through everything.

With regard to Coco Chanel movie - I had no idea there was another movie coming out about her. I look forward to seeing it. We recently had Coco Chanel on Lifetime - a station on our tv with Shirley MacClaine (she plays Coco in her later years) and Barbora Bobulora plays her in her younger years. If you have not seen it and can somehow get your hands on it (I believe they have it on dvd) I think you will enjoy it. It details everything from her years in the orphanage, her affairs, how she met the love of her live and their struggles, her ups and downs with her business and how she made her come back. Very inspiring. I laughed and cried. I think, whatever was missing in detail in the one you just saw - you would find those missing compenents in the one we saw. all the details in this one
http://www.mylifetime.com/on-tv/movies/coco-chanel/cast

I was in such awe of her after watching this movie and the way she created her clothe. I had no clue that she started with hats and some comfort dresses... It's well worth it - I dream about owning a pink chanel jacket and when I do - I won't wear it as a status symbol but rather with honor for the woman that created it. She was amazing. Love your blog.