Coco Before Chanel - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Coco Before Chanel Reviews

November 17, 2011
Read More | Original Score: 4/5
November 18, 2009
A movie that is tres chic even if it sometimes resembles those corsets Coco banished, a little stiff and confining.
Read More | Original Score: 3.5/4
November 5, 2009
The thread connecting the ambitious girl to the acclaimed woman is enough to make us wish for a sequel titled Chanel No. 2.
Read More | Original Score: 2.5/4
October 23, 2009
The film is unfailingly funny.
Full Review | Original Score: B
October 23, 2009
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.
October 23, 2009
We are used to seeing Tautou play the sweetheart. Here, she's anything but. Constantly smoking, dour, unsmiling, critical, she plays a character difficult to warm to but fascinating to watch.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
October 22, 2009
Although technically a biopic based on a nonfiction book by Edmonde Charles-Roux, Coco Before Chanel plays more like an engrossing, classy period piece.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
October 16, 2009
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.
October 16, 2009
Tautou's sophisticated portrayal won't allow viewers to dismiss Coco as kept. Coco's talents are too pronounced, her approach to intimacy, to life, too aware for that.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
October 16, 2009
I wish Fontaine would follow up with a sequel: Coco After Chanel. Tautou's performance cries out for a second act.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
October 16, 2009
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.
October 15, 2009
The film, although sumptuously produced, is a staid and conventional account of her early years.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
October 15, 2009
The film, understandably, leaves you wanting more about the rest of the designer's life, but Coco Before Chanel is wisely focused on those years in which she became herself.
Read More | Original Score: 3.5/4
October 9, 2009
The movie does a good job of presenting the social strictures that Chanel refused to be bound by, none more immediate and ubiquitous than the clothes women were expected to wear.
Read More | Original Score: 3.5/5
October 8, 2009
It would seem that Fontaine has a keener eye for the elements that made Chanel's style than she has an ear for dialogue. But she gets a splendid performance from Tautou.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
October 8, 2009
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
October 7, 2009
One can see where the story might be of great interest to fans and devotees of Chanel, but for casual viewers who have never seen her as more than the face behind an empire, there's too little in this movie to provide more than a casual diversion.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
October 2, 2009
Director Anne Fontaine is at her strongest when she's aiding and abetting Chanel's all-seeing gaze.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
October 2, 2009
A more conventional movie would work this love triangle to maximum pathos. Fontaine sees it as simply part of the Chanel construct, and Tautou is completely in tune with her.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
October 2, 2009
Coco Chanel is not the most lovable of heroines, but it's a strength of the film that director Anne Fontaine allows Tautou to make Coco as cold and ungiving as she does.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
October 1, 2009
You know they're out of ideas when all Tautou does is walk and look around, then walk and look around some more. It's as if she's window-shopping for another movie. The one she's in isn't terrible. But it's not interesting, either.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
September 28, 2009
Coco Chanel was a lot more complicated than you'd guess from this thin slice of over-decorated cake.
September 27, 2009
We leave unsatisfied, but only because Fontaine and Tautou have left us wanting more of this unpossessable woman.
Full Review | Original Score: B
September 25, 2009
Visually attractive and moderately diverting.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
September 25, 2009
Tautou not only resembles Chanel, she inhabits the role completely, using flashing eyes and a relentless intelligence to convey the unbending strength of a woman determined to make something of her life in a time and place when that was far from the norm.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
September 25, 2009
Headstrong women might have been hard to find in turn-of-the-century Europe, but heroines like Tautou's are a dime a dozen in costume dramas, and there isn't enough material detailing what makes her Chanel a special case.
Read More | Original Score: C
September 25, 2009
A flat, airless tale of a sullen hooker who lucked out.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
September 25, 2009
It's a special pleasure to watch this vibrant Coco taking in the world around her and turning it to her use, in her fashion.
September 25, 2009
In the end, even the style and structure of the film are tributes to the great designer herself -- clean, classic and unadorned. And completely unapologetic.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
September 25, 2009
The blossoming of her ambition, as much as her love life, drives the story forward, and turns Coco Before Chanel into a costume drama worthy of the name.
Read More | Original Score: 4.5/5
September 24, 2009
It may be too respectful of the legend it seeks to illuminate.
September 24, 2009
The film, while scaled-down, is quite beautifully woven, like a classic Chanel tweed.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
September 24, 2009
Aiming to be a tale of self-creation, Fontaine's film more often plays as a dull romance, Chanel's role as mistress somehow worthy of noble celebration.
September 23, 2009
Coco Before Chanel examines the influences that made Chanel so different - and so irreplaceable - the way an observant fashion student might deconstruct an haute couture garment to understand how it's built.
Full Review | Original Score: B
September 21, 2009
I missed the desperation that goaded the real Coco-not just the sulks that pass like rain showers across Tautou's prettiness but that brisk contempt for existing conditions which led Chanel, like any French revolutionary, to overturn them.
September 21, 2009
As picturesque period biopics with too many symmetrical compositions go, Anne Fontaine's Coco Before Chanel is surprisingly intimate and nuanced.
July 31, 2009
Fontaine's film is gorgeous, but its beauty is practical, almost textile, like a Chanel tweed.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
June 28, 2009
Coco Avant Chanel is a dull, superficial portrait of a brilliant woman.
April 24, 2009
Tautou's perf is one of her finest to date, revealing her character's headstrong personality through smart delivery and a permanent but attractive pout.