If this movie has taught me anything it’s that I want to be French even more than I thought. It might have been the beautiful shots of the provincial countryside or how much I love (and am desperately trying to learn) the French language but there’s just something about this movie that makes me want to take off and move to Paris. I must live there! And eat pastries! And back to the movie. Coco Avant Chanel is a stunning portrayal of Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel played by French actress Audrey Tautou. She’s so beautiful to look at (unkempt eyebrows and all) that you may miss some pivotal moments in the plot. But she’s a rather convincing version of the fashion maven so remember to stay focused. The movie is tragic, sad, and yet triumphant ‘ a wonderful rags to riches story with many plot twists and turns that I won’t elaborate on because I don’t want to ruin it. I will tell you, however, that as the story takes us from an orphanage scene to a fashion show in Paris, you get a chance to see Coco’s many relationships develop. Her life seems almost tragic in the movie but if you know anything about the fashion house of Chanel you know that though her personal life was at times trying, she clearly flourished in the career aspects of her life in a time when most women weren’t exactly breaking out on their own. I must forewarn the fashion addicts though, it’s not all glitz and glam. The movie is more about her life than it is about fashion (thus the title) but you’ll definitely get some peeks at the inspiration behind her wares and why she chose certain patterns and designs. It helped me understand the idea behind the simplicity in her clothing and it made me want to dress less spastically. But though I bow down to the fashion icon, that probably won’t happen. A few tips before seeing the film: – Read read our November Style Icon article on Coco to get a little glimpse into her life. – Don’t drink a giant green tea before the movie starts like some people. If you go to the bathroom you may miss something pivotal! And there’s some fabulous fashion at the end so you have to stick it out. – If you don’t speak French bring your spectacles ‘ the entire movie is subtitled. – But most importantly, be prepared to be enthralled with Boy Capel (below) played by Alessandro Nivola who is apparently not even French. His character’s a little swarthy but some serious eye candy. Enjoy! It’s out in theatres on Friday.
– Kate Daley