Coco Before Chanel
|Coco Before Chanel|
French theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Anne Fontaine|
|Produced by||Simon Arnal
|Written by||Anne Fontaine
|Based on||Chanel and Her World by
|Music by||Alexandre Desplat|
|Edited by||Luc Barnier|
|Haut et Court
France 2 Cinéma
|Distributed by||Warner Bros. Pictures (France)
Sony Pictures Classics (United States)
|Running time||105 minutes|
Coco Before Chanel (original title Coco avant Chanel) is a 2009 French film about the early life of famed French fashion designer Coco Chanel. French actor Audrey Tautou stars as Chanel. Coco avant Chanel was directed and co-written by actor turned director Anne Fontaine.
Instead of releasing Coco Before Chanel in the United States itself, Warner Bros. Pictures let Sony Pictures Classics handle the release there. The film grossed $6 million in the United States.
Several years after leaving the orphanage where her father abandoned her, a young Gabrielle Chanel finds herself working in a provincial bar. She is both a seamstress for the performers and a singer, earning the nickname 'Coco' from the song she sings nightly with her sister. A liaison with the charismatic Baron Balsan (Belgian actor Benoît Poelvoorde) gives her an entry into French high society, and a chance to develop her gift for designing increasingly popular hats.
Coco falls in love with English businessman Arthur Capel (American Alessandro Nivola, who learnt French especially for the film), unaware that he is betrothed to a woman in England. Capel believes in Coco's talent making hats and her refusal to follow the whims of fashion; as he says to Coco, "There's no one else like you". As Coco's business flourishes and life is going well, Capel dies in a car accident; she is devastated. However, Coco still has the business that Capel helped her start as a reminder of their love.
Roger Ebert praised the film for its unsentimental approach to Chanel's early years. English critic Philip French found the film handsomely designed, tasteful, reserved, and rather dull. One hundred twenty-six critics on website Rotten Tomatoes gave the film an average rating of 63%. The film's average on Metacritic from reviewers was 65% as of 6 December 2012, with a 69% rating from general users of the website.
- Audrey Tautou as Coco Chanel
- Benoît Poelvoorde as Étienne Balsan
- Alessandro Nivola as Arthur Capel
- Marie Gillain as Adrienne Chanel
- Emmanuelle Devos as Émilienne d’Alençon
- Academy Award for Best Costume Design (Catherine Leterrier, nominee)
- BAFTA Award for Best Foreign Film (Carole Scotta, Caroline Benjo, Philippe Carcassonne and Anne Fontaine, nominees)
- BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role (Audrey Tautou, nominee)
- BAFTA Award for Best Costume Design (Catherine Leterrier, nominee)
- BAFTA Award for Best Makeup and Hair (Thi Thanh Tu Nguyen and Jane Milon, nominees)
- César Award for Best Writing (Anne Fontaine and Camille Fontaine, nominees)
- César Award for Best Actress (Audrey Tautou, nominee)
- César Award for Best Supporting Actor (Benoît Poelvoorde, nominee)
- César Award for Best Cinematography (Christophe Beaucarne, nominee)
- César Award for Best Costume Design (Catherine Leterrier, winner)
- César Award for Best Production Design (Olivier Radot, nominee)
- Magritte Award for Best Supporting Actor (Benoît Poelvoorde, nominee)
- European Film Awards Audience Award (Anne Fontaine, nominee)
- European Film Award for Best Composer (Alexandre Desplat, nominee)
- European Film Awards Prix d'Excellence for Best Costume Design (Catherine Leterrier, nominee)
- Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Foreign Language Film (Anne Fontaine, nominee)
- World Soundtrack Award for Soundtrack Composer of the Year (Alexandre Desplat, winner)
- "Coco Before Chanel (2009)". The Numbers. Retrieved 30 November 2009.
- "Coco Before Chanel". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 29 September 2012.
- Jaafar, Ali (17 April 2009). "Hollywood biz without borders". Variety.
- Tobias, Scott (19 November 2004). "Foreign affairs". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 20 June 2009.[dead link]
- "Coco Before Chanel". Chicago Sun Times.
- French, Philip (2 August 2009). "Coco Before Chanel". The Guardian. Retrieved 29 September 2012.
- "Coco Before Chanel (2009)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 29 September 2012.
- Official website (French)
- Coco Before Chanel at the Internet Movie Database
- Coco Before Chanel at AllMovie