Coco Before Chanel
|Coco Before Chanel|
French theatrical release poster
|French||Coco avant Chanel|
|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.
The film premiered in Paris on 6 April 2009 and was released in France and Belgium on 22 April 2009. As of 21 December that year, it had grossed $43,832,376 worldwide. The production budget was $23 million.
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
Coco Before Chanel has an approval rating of 64% on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 135 reviews, and an average rating of 6.05/10. The website's critical consensus states, "Though it doesn't quite capture the complexity of its subject's life, Coco Avant Chanel remains a fascinating, appropriately lovely tribute". Metacritic assigned the film a weighted average score of 65 out of 100, based on 30 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".
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