Coco Before Chanel
|Coco Before Chanel|
French theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Anne Fontaine|
|Based on||Chanel and Her World|
by Edmonde Charles-Roux
|Music by||Alexandre Desplat|
|Edited by||Luc Barnier|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros. Pictures|
|Box office||$50.8 million|
Coco Before Chanel (French: Coco avant Chanel) is a 2009 biographical drama film directed and co-written by Anne Fontaine. The film stars Audrey Tautou and details the early life of French fashion designer Coco Chanel.
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 in Aubazine where her father abandoned her, a young Gabrielle Chanel finds herself working in a provincial bar. She works as a seamstress for the performers by day and a cabaret singer by night, earning the nickname "Coco" from the song she sings with her sister Adrienne. A liaison with the charismatic Baron Balsan 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, 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 to start as a reminder of their love.
- 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
- Émilie Gavois-Kahn as The alternate seamstress
Roger Ebert praised the film for its unsentimental approach to Chanel's early years. English critic Philip French found the film handsomely designed, tasteful, and reserved, but 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[update], with a 69% rating from general users of the website.
Awards and nominations
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- Jaafar, Ali (17 April 2009). "Hollywood biz without borders". Variety.
- Tobias, Scott (19 November 2004). "Foreign affairs". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on 3 July 2009. Retrieved 20 June 2009.
- "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.
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