Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Coco avant Chanel - Coco before Chanel

2009 by Anne Fontaine - French movie

Say Audrey Tautou, and there is a kind of minimum guarantee about the movie. Is there any actress in the modern days who can give that kind of a guarantee, I doubt it. However, this is quite a different type of character from Audrey Tautou, than we are used to seeing.

A biopic on a legendary Fashion designer, Chanel, who too Paris fashion world by storm.

But the movie focuses more on the life of Chanel, before she became a successful designer, when she was a nobody, just Coco.

The sad part is that, by the time Coco grow up as a character and puts her hands on her path to success, ie trying to be a designer, the movie is almost at its end. Till this period, we are actually looking at the hardships of Coco. It is a different kind of hardship though. Coco is basically a strong character, but she is trying to keep her cool, being a mistress to one of the big guy with contacts. What is worse is the way this big guy treats her. It is incredible that a French woman bears it.

We see from the very beginning that Coco is quite a strong character, but the way she was (almost) submissive to her big man (and to his insults), Mr. Balsan, is still shocking. That only proves the resolve of her character in some ways. May be there is a lot to learn from this movie, about French women in the first half of 20th Century.

Whatever, the movie is quite impressive. But I must admit, it does not really touch us deeply or make us yearn for something or anything like that. It is just above average.

What is brilliant, is of course, the performance of Audrey. She is incredible. I only wish, she put on some weight to her skeleton body. She definitely is a born actress, a little bit of flesh on her body could only help her, I guess.