Friday, April 2, 2010

Movie Review: Coco Before Chanel

I will start by saying that I *love* Audrey Tautou. I've seen quite a few of her movies, including Venus Beauty Institute, which is one of her first films. It's nice that she's become so popular, probably in part because she does fit the image so many of us have about what a French actress should be.
Like many others, I wanted the Coco Chanel movie on Lifetime (which BTW, was completely ruined by Shirley MacLaine who didn't even bother to try to cover up her American accent). They both followed a very similar storyline but this version was much more realistic (and sad).
As far as the fashion goes, I loved seeing Coco compared to all the other women of the day. Hearing how the other women were afraid of losing all their OTT embellishments & accessories in fear of people thinking they were poor. I also liked how, when Coco was just starting to make her own clothing, everything wasn't finished perfectly or fit precisely. Which was more realistic since she was making these items with whatever she had on hand. Towards the end of the movie we get to see the super chic version of Coco, with clothes that would work just as well today as they did they.
On a beauty note, when Coco was feeling sad and/or depressed, they made it very apparent by forgoing concealer and, well, almost all makeup. Something most American films would never do in fear of making any actress look anything less than perfectly beautiful. She becomes much more polished later on of course, with that great finger-wave bob and perfectly defined eyebrows.
Overall, this is a great film. I would recommend it to anyone who has even the slightest interest in fashion or in French culture in general.

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