Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky Reviews

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November 4, 2016
French (mostly) with subtitles.
I would class this as an arthouse film rather than mainstream, but it is an excellent film for its genre. Who knows how much of this is true or accurate but it makes for a good film.
The first thing that strikes you is the extreme contrast used in the cinematography. I initially thought my projector was broken - It's like a cinema version of the chiaroscuro technique of the painter Caravaggio (for example google the painting 'Salome receives the Head of John the Baptist'). The dialogue is also extremely sparse - each sentence spoken is like a full stop after a long non-verbal scene. And of course the music of Stravinsky accompanies us through each scene.
Another thing that impresses is the linguistic range of the successful lead male Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen - I've seen him in Danish, English, Russian, French and Swedish language films and TV.
In this film Coco Channel is an extraordinary person - hard as steel as a boss, she knows exactly what she wants and demands it with a low-key determined voice. She inspects her shop staff each morning - "your nails are too long and vulgar', then some staff have the temerity to dare ask for a raise - "Don't you even think of asking for a raise" she says before they even open their mouths. Later in the film we see her coolly assessing the development of the famous Chanel No 5 perfume - she is absolutely unimpressed with bullshit and drives her expert perfumer towards the scent she wants - and as the whole world knows, she gets.
The film begins with Coco attending a Stravinsky scored ballet in 1913 which is so avant-garde that people walk out in outrage. Coco is clearly intrigued by the maverick Russian composer. Seven years go by and she comes across him and invites him and his family including four children to reside in her chateau, so he can compose his music in peace. His wife is lethally ill with TB and he accepts. It is an extraordinary house - the windows are blacked out and there is no colour at all in the house, just black and white, his wife asks of Coco "Don't you like colour?" - Coco replies "Of course, as long as it is black".
Stravinsky composes his music and his life-long childhood sweet-heart wife corrects his mistakes. They were clearly made for each other. But there is a sexual tension between Coco and Stravinsky which inevitably become infidelity. His wife and even his children are acutely aware of this as they have to share the same house. A key moment between his ill wife and Coco - "Don't you feel any guilt?" and Coco stares coolly at her and replies coldly "No".
However there is no emotional chemistry there - yes they lust after each other and indulge many times. There is key dialogue that explains their attitude just after making love - he sits by the bed and Coco coldly says "I am as strong as you Igor and more successful" and Igor replies "Yes, but I am an artist and you are just a shopkeeper".
She doesn't understand art except as a collector, (even Stravinsky is part of her collection) but wants to do so, so she is very generous as a patron, even financing anonymously an entire season of ballet worth a third of a million francs.

And towards the end of their lives, many decades later, it is apparent that they made a lasting impression on one another.
½ August 14, 2016
The opening sequence is extremely gripping. I don't know what happened afterwards but at least I enjoyed the literary depth the film tried to convey.
Super Reviewer
November 3, 2015
A soulless romance that lacks intensity and passion, with an atypically awkward Mads Mikkelsen and an insipid Anna Mouglalis trying hard to appear sophisticated but forgetting to look human - her character even mourns the death of her lover but we cannot see or feel her pain.
½ July 3, 2015
But The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge out of Water is 26% better than this according to this site so...
February 11, 2015
One of my favorite films!
½ October 23, 2014
I rather enjoyed this despite the mixed reviews. I thought it was well characterised, and the motivations of both Chanel and Stravinsky were explored. And of course it was beautifully shot, with the villa and Coco's outfits as gorgeous as each other. The use of Stravinsky's music added greatly to the lusciousness of it all. Much better than I expected. Of course it's all speculation and without too much grounding in fact, but that's what movies are for.
July 2, 2014
Not a bad story or a bad film but it doesn't really stand out other than for the dramatization of the historic Rite of Spring premier.
½ June 14, 2014
She was annoying. He was brilliant.
May 8, 2014
Despite good costume design and the presence of the great Mads Mikkelsen, who the hell cares about what ever happened between him and Chanel when it is that boring?
½ April 25, 2014
A bit too slow and artistic. It doesn't seem to take off. I gave up.
March 18, 2014
Thoughtful and deep slow moving depiction of two gifted but complex soles drawn together. The love affair is only based on rumour which lessens the impact of the story to an extent, however this is strong film making nevertheless.
½ March 17, 2014
I was engaged by the actors. Story wise, it is ok, the last scenes of the aged characters are really not needed. Well made and beautiful.
November 24, 2013
Decent, but falling rather flat & sometimes loose all the way.
½ August 11, 2013
Why must every French movie elevate you to the highest high when the characters are in love but inevitably every affair is doomed to failure? Watch it for the first 10 minutes when Stravinsky's Rite of Spring incites a riot (which is not exactly shown in the film) and the fashion --those clean lines in Chanel's design --and her uncompromising character in the film. And the lovemaking --sometimes you forget you are watching soft pr0n and wish real life boinking could have as much passion as in the film!!
July 25, 2013
There are better alternatives to watch - that is if you even care about Coco Chanel.
½ June 9, 2013
Chanel No. 5 is my favorite perfume of all time. To watch the story to what led to its creation would've been inspirational if the film managed to sell the love story behind it to me. Still, solid performances by Mads Mikkelsen and Anna Mougalis as Igor Stravinsiky and Coco Chanel
June 5, 2013
I liked Coco Avant Chanel better.
½ April 6, 2013
I really loved this movie for making its lead characters so damn unlikable. It's refreshingly human.
February 15, 2013
Beautiful, appropriately, but not sure I got the love story, only lust. Great materials & cast, but less than satisfying outcome.
February 10, 2013
A disgrace to the memory of one of the greatest composers of all time. A bunch of dismal fictional bullshit. A pathetic joke.Shameful.
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