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Film Critics: Today, December 12, winners from San DiegoFCS. Nominations from SeattleFCS and WomenFCC.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Coco Avant Chanel (Coco Before Chanel)


I wasn’t expecting much from this movie because I’m no fan of Audrey Tautou; but at the same time I was expecting a lot because the movie is directed and co written by Anne Fontaine that I simply adore (remember great Nathalie?). So what started with contradictory expectations became a good experience as have to admit that for me is hard to forget that Tautou is the one on the screen, against the character she’s playing; but here I saw Chanel several times, meaning I forgot that Tautou was on the screen (lol!).

The movie as a movie is just fantastic, superb with costumes being the great stars and with extraordinary cinematography, framing and some intriguing but extremely beautiful takes. What also makes it quite interesting is that the film is categorized as an anti-biopic film (by the way, another is Campion’s Bright Star), meaning that filmmakers take crucial liberties to make the film interesting and entertaining to today’s audiences.

The story was familiar to me for about 15 minutes thanks to the other Chanel movie I saw not long ago; but then it became completely new when started to develop a human life drama about a difficult woman that decides to become the mistress of very wealthy Benoît Poelvoorde who treats her like one of the many objects in his chateau. But obviously everything that happens there is what makes her even stronger and allows her to see and eventually share time with the rich and famous from the Belle Époque era. So, if you have seen the made for TV Coco Chanel be sure that you will learn here a lot more about the woman, about Gabrielle Chanel.

Still, for me the greatest scene is the finale when they show a too brief scene when Coco is Coco Chanel; a scene that was filmed at the real Chanel store and was quite impressive to see Tautou sitting in the stairs and looking just like the real Coco.

I tend to believe that if this film was about an unknown woman that had a difficult life and especially love life, would have been an intriguing drama about a woman that to escape probable poverty had to “use” men that were using her. Nothing hardness a woman more than doing exactly that.

So it’s an entertaining movie with excellent production values that shows an unconventional romance that definitively will appeal more to women than to men.

I did enjoyed the movie a lot more than what I expected (okay, Tautou is great here) and definitively recommend it as a good anti-biopic film in an excellent and remarkable production.

Enjoy!!!

Watch trailer @ Movie On Companion

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