Rated PG-13 · 105 minutes · 2009

Biography, Docudrama
Stifling the Amélie twinkle that made her the darling of international cinema, Audrey Tautou furrows her brow and plays it grave as the formidable Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel, saloon singer turned style magnate. This sumptuously shot biography focuses mostly on the years leading up to Chanel’s first shop in Paris, depicting young Coco as driven and shrewd as she insinuates herself into the bed of a wealthy socialite and makes the most of his social connections in her quest to be an actress … which didn’t exactly pan out. Both Tautou and filmmaker Anne Fontaine (The Girl From Monaco) face an uphill battle with a heroine who does nothing to endear herself to anyone, but that chilly self-preservation might be part of Coco’s appeal. Truthfully, though, her personal relationships are uninteresting; we see cinematic romances all the time. The best scenes—and there are too few of them—show the seeds of 20th-century fashion taking root, as we watch Coco’s black, unsmiling eyes size up the antiquated rules of style—and then we see her nimble hands rewrite them.
Official Site: www.sonyclassics.com/cocobeforechanel
Director: Anne Fontaine
Producer: Caroline Benjo, Philippe Carcassonne, Carole Scotta and Simon Arnal
Cast: Audrey Tautou, Benoît Poelvoorde, Alessandro Nivola, Marie Gillain, Emmanuelle Devos, Régis Royer, Etienne Bartholomeus, Yan Duffas, Fabien Béhar, Roch Leibovici, Jean-Yves Chatelais, Pierre Diot, Vincent Nemeth, Bruno Abraham-Kremer, Marie-Bénédicte Roy and Émilie Gavois-Kahn


Coco Before Chanel

Coco Before Chanel


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What others are saying (8)

Colorado Springs Independent Opening this week The Box, Coco Before Chanel, Endgame, More Than a Game and more. 11/05/2009
Portland Mercury Singularity of Style Coco Before Chanel's significant style. by Marjorie Skinner 10/22/2009
Charleston City Paper Coco Before Chanel gives the famous designer the biopic treatment From T.S. Eliot to Picasso to Le Corbusier, writers, artists and architects are often celebrated as proponents of modernism, but more rarely fashion designers. How fitting, then to see the French fashion designer Coco Chanel be given her due as one of the most celebrated visionaries of the 20th century in Anne Fontaine's Coco Before Chanel. by Felicia Feaster 11/04/2009
5 more reviews...
Boise Weekly Coco Concealed Coco Before Chanel, is a beautiful rags-to-riches romance that reveals little beyond the colorful but question-marked minutiae of this pivotal couturiere's beginnings. by Jeremiah Robert Wierenga 11/18/2009
Memphis Flyer Chic Flick Coco Before Chanel by Greg Akers 11/05/2009
Colorado Springs Independent Off the rack There's an anesthetized feel to this sedate biopic that suggests problems in its focus. Maybe the more interesting part of her life was after Coco became the fashion icon. by MaryAnn Johanson 11/05/2009
Boise Weekly The Projector: Movies opening Nov. 6 Haute couture, a classic holiday Christmas tale and George Clooney staring at goats. 11/06/2009
The Coast Halifax Coco Avant Chanel keeps tight focus Director Anne Fontaine's biopic focuses on Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel’s early days by Sue Carter Flinn 10/29/2009

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