Coco Before Chanel (2009)
Coco Before Chanel (2009)
Critic Consensus: Though it doesn't quite capture the complexity of its subject's life, Coco Avant Chanel remains a fascinating, appropriately lovely tribute.
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as Gabrielle Chanel
as Etienne Balsan
as Boy Capel
as Alec, le jockey
as Maître d'hôtel Balsan
as Maurice de Nexon
as Patron boutique
as Jean, le palefrenier
as Directeur beuglant
as Acteur théâtre
as Gros homme théâtre
as Sophie, amie d'Emilienne
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Critic Reviews for Coco Before Chanel
Coco Before Chanel only starts to get interesting when she asserts her creative and financial freedom -- and that's right when the movie's about to end.
This refreshing alternative to the usual potted biopic provides an absorbing look at a singular, steely determination as it was forged and annealed, long before it made itself known to the world.
The movie is most fascinating when it shows how Chanel communicated her enlightened sense of womanhood through her innovative designs, which in turn helped women feel differently about themselves.
The film loses some of its fascination when Coco is unmistakably launched on her career path. But that's when the story ends; this is titled Coco Before Chanel for a reason.
Director Anne Fontaine is at her strongest when she's aiding and abetting Chanel's all-seeing gaze.
Audience Reviews for Coco Before Chanel
The plot is too conventional and feels somehow incomplete when it comes to showing what was exactly so special about the character that propelled her into recognition and fame, but this is a decent film with some strong performances and a gracious score.
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.
Beautifully shot and a good introduction into the early years of Coco Chanel. I have to admit I knew nothing at all about her. Audrey Tautou suits the role so well, I could now not imagine her any other way. A good true story about a strong and inspirational woman who rose way above her circumstances.
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