Coco Before ChanelApril 22, 2009
The story of Coco Chanel's rise from obscure beginnings to the heights of the fashion world.
Release Year: 2009
Rating: 6.5/10 (12,336 voted)
Critic's Score: 65/100
Stars: Audrey Tautou, Benoît Poelvoorde, Alessandro Nivola
Several years after leaving the orphanage to which her father never returned for her, Gabrielle Chanel finds herself working in a provincial bar both. She's both a seamstress for the performers and a singer, earning the nickname Coco from the song she sings nightly with her sister. A liaison with Baron Balsan gives her an entree into French society and a chance to develop her gift for designing increasingly popular hats. When she falls in love with English businessman Arthur Capel further opportunities open up, though life becomes ever more complicated.
Writers: Anne Fontaine, Edmonde Charles-Roux
Gabrielle 'Coco' Chanel
Arthur 'Boy' Capel
Alec, le jockey
Maître d'hôtel Balsan
Maurice de Nexon
Jean, le palefrenier
Gros homme théâtre
Gabrielle Chanel, 10 ans
Before she was France's famous mademoiselle…
Release Date: 22 April 2009
Filming Locations: Cabourg, Calvados, France
Box Office Details
Opening Weekend: £423,268
(2 August 2009)
(7 February 2010)
Did You Know?
Visa d'exploitation (en France) n° 121049
Costume continuity during the scene where "Boy" allows Coco Chanel to drive the motorcar. When they eventually stop the car, Coco is wearing a white scarf which she was not wearing when she first got into the car.
[subtitled version of French dialog]
Girls who have visitors, follow me.
Gabrielle Chanel, 10 ans:
Come on. Come on, let's go.
Adrienne Chanel, 10 ans:
I don't want to.
It may be a subject that will not automatically appeal to many.
However, this movie is certainly worth watching.
Audrey Tautou, complete with all the mannerisms and dark looks of Coco
Chanel, plays a magnificent role. We start of at the miserable
beginning of Gabrielle Chanel's life, in an orphanage. It quickly
becomes clear that this is not the story about some high-society woman
who got bored and decided to make clothes in a style that was unheard
of at that time, even for people who don't know anything about the life
of Coco Chanel. We see her, slowly but surely, clawing her way up in
society, using her charm and wit, but most of all: her outspokenness,
always telling what she thinks.
Cinematographically, this film is outstanding too. Throughout the film,
certain elements of clothing (black and white patterns, stripes, men's
shirts) are shown through an unclear lens, to point out that even the
most early views of Coco on fashion were incorporated in her style
This film is not just a story about Coco's success, it's also about her
struggle to fit in in a society that differed so much from her own
opinions, about her losses and heartaches. All in all, we get a
complete picture of the icon that is still loved and admired today.