Coco Before Chanel 2009

Coco Before Chanel

Critics Consensus

Though it doesn't quite capture the complexity of its subject's life, Coco Avant Chanel remains a fascinating, appropriately lovely tribute.

64%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 135

57%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 40,125

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Movie Info

Young Coco Chanel (Audrey Tautou) works as a seamstress by day and a cabaret entertainer by night, then she meets a wealthy heir (Benoît Poelvoorde) and becomes his lover and fashion consultant. Tired of the flowery hats, tight corsets and yards of lace that define women's fashion, Coco uses her lover's clothing as a starting point to distill an elegant and sophisticated line of women's clothing that propels her to the top of Parisian haute couture.

Cast & Crew

Audrey Tautou
Gabrielle 'Coco' Chanel
Benoît Poelvoorde
Étienne Balsan
Alessandro Nivola
Arthur 'Boy' Capel
Marie Gillain
Adrienne Chanel
Emmanuelle Devos
Emilienne d'Alençon
Etienne Bartholomeus
Maître d'hôtel Balsan
Yan Duffas
Maurice de Nexon
Fabien Béhar
Patron boutique
Anne Fontaine
Screenwriter
Alexandre Desplat
Original Music
Luc Barnier
Film Editor
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News & Interviews for Coco Before Chanel

Critic Reviews for Coco Before Chanel

All Critics (135) | Top Critics (48) | Fresh (86) | Rotten (49)

Audience Reviews for Coco Before Chanel

  • Jul 24, 2014
    Coco Before Chanel, literally is about Coco before she started her own Chanel line. I like the acting, very natural and fitting, exactly what I would expect real life Chanel to behave. I like the individualist messages, you gotta work hard to achieve your dreams and don't let the others stop you. I like the idea of Chanel meeting the man who appreciate her unique ideas, like attract likes was well reinforced there. However, the plot seem fragmented and could use some polishing. The costumes were beautiful and the set was beautifully designed.
    Sylvester K Super Reviewer
  • Oct 14, 2011
    Another biopic of the fashion template Coco Chanel, this French language film romanticizes the life of a woman who favored simplicity in her style, leading to a feminization of rebellion in the fashion world, and in women's every day life.Still, though Chanel was a prominent figure, she is misrepresented time and time again as a romantic, a career woman, and a realist, when in reality she prostituted herself, and worked as a Nazi sympathizer and traitor towards the French. This inaccuracy, though blaring, didn't annoy me as much as the way this film is plotted, focusing on Chanel's early life, before fame came to her. Chanel is never seen past the thirties, transfixed into an immortal portrait of a rags to riches story. Chanel's life broadened so much more in the coming years, and it would have been nice to watch Tatou, such a resilient figure in French cinema, overcome the issues of Chanel's youth and rise to the occasion as a sort of matriarch to the female French population. We see a fragment of this at the end, but never the true extent of her success, the transformation she goes through to be a powerhouse, no longer the fragile little orphan of her prior youth. Tatou, such a great beauty and gamine presence, is so amazingly strong and independent minded in her take on the giant, but I wish there wasn't so much emphasis on Boy Capel throughout, and more on her actual life. This all felt like an ill fated love affair, when Chanel actually had many lovers in her lifetime, including Igor Stravinsky. It was beautifully shot and acted, I just believe the execution had something to be desired.
    Spencer S Super Reviewer
  • Jun 22, 2011
    I have as much interest in fashion as I do the standings of the Czech junior hockey league, but since Audrey Tautou is the star of this show I had to watch. She performs ably as Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel during her lean times as a seamstress and freelance hat designer, wiping any trace of Audrey or Amelie from perception. I was interested in watching how she managed to break free of the male-dominated French pre-WW I society where the best and seemingly only chance a woman had for advancement was to marry rich, she certainly was a pioneer for women in business. Sad to say I cannot recommend the film to the casual viewer though, outside of watching Audrey I grew quite bored as there were few momentous events in Coco's life shown here, and while I might now be able to recognize Chanel couture, we only catch glimpses of what inspired the woman with "a strong sense of distaste." Apparently there's nothing like a car crash that claims the life of a loved one to channel creativity resulting in 30 new dress designs, which I consider rather a high price to pay.
    Doctor S Super Reviewer
  • Jan 03, 2011
    Pretty good...entertaining enough for me to finish the movie, but it was nothing special (to me).
    Erin C Super Reviewer

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