July 15, 2018

Hot! Review: Coco Avant Chanel

Coco Avant Chanel
“Dramatic version of the designer’s early years.”
** In French with English subtitles.

On my way to the subway station a homeless man asks me for some money. As I move my head from East to West he then proceeds with the strangest comment, “I like your style.” I giggled especially since only moments previously I had just finished watching Coco Avant Chanel better known as Coco before Chanel at the Paris theater.

Director Anne Fontaine did an amazing job of making me feel the early 1900s by capturing the essence of the “style” from dresses to background. This period piece made me appreciate the Chanel line even more than I already do.

The Rags to Riches story from French orphanage to the couture dresses coupled with the best female fitting suits that money can buy was depicted by Audrey Tautou, as “Coco.” Coco and her sister played by Marie Gillain, sang for their supper to earn a living and meet an aristocrat “Etienne” played by Benoit Poelvoorde. Coco arrives unexpectedly at Etienne’s house where she begins a living as a mistress. Quickly Coco’s passion for fashion emerges as she starts off making her own pants suits, dresses, and later, hats for Etienne’s wealthy friends. During this developmental stage Coco meets Etienne’s financial adviser, “Boy”, played by Alessandro Nivola and they fall in love. Boy bank rolls Coco’s business in the beginning but tragedy strikes Boy. Coco than throws herself completely into her passion — a full line of women’s clothes.

It’s a great inspiration story of nothing to something – determination, wit, and love! I give it 2 thumbs up and a petticoat.

Cheers, Leah Richards.

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