Coco Avant Chanel


It wasn’t a perfect day for going out. London was wet, wet, wet.

I had such a terrible journey to Curzon Mayfair. Jubilee line terminated at Waterloo. Everybody was out of the train. I boarded another train, got off at Piccadilly Circus, got on a bus, got off at Green Park, then braced the rain and wind, walked towards Curzon cinema.

I love this small cinema, which is tucked away at the heart of Mayfair. It’s an oasis for people who truly love films and the art of film making.

For the first time, I got a ticket with a seat number. Normally, you can sit anywhere and the cinema was always quiet. But not for this film. Very soon, the cinema foyer was packed with the audience. I looked around, yes, they all looked sophisticated, cultured and decent. And of course, most of them are middle aged.

It’s not a film about fashion, fashion in this film is just the background, and the whole film is about how a young woman rising from her humble start.

In biopic genre, Coco Avant Chanel is a success. We all know Coco lived a long life. If you tried to make a film based on her whole life, you were heading to failure. Many biopic films already failed in this respect. Biopic’s difficulties lie on how to present what’s more significant and what’s not within 2 hours.

Anne Fontaine’s film focused on only early years of Gabrielle Chanel. This gave her enough space on a huge canvas to paint a rich picture of a young Coco Chanel – determined, subtle and crafty.

Another success is to choose Audrey Tautou. She does strike physical resemblances. It was a role Audrey was born to play. Having seen the film, Audrey did not disappoint Anne, the audience and perhaps Coco Chanel herself would have to agree Audrey pull her all heart, energy and soul into this film: her long gaze and the way she elegantly held the cigarette…

At one point she compares women in love to ‘submissive dogs’… then she fell in love with an English industrialist. Her romantic affairs with Boy seemed to overshadow her career as the film’s driving force… But before you jump to such a conclusion, you know this film really wasn’t about the height of her career. Her affair with Boy was an important part of the making of a determined young Coco.

There was this long shot on a busy beach. She stood there with her back facing the audience…in her own designed hat and dress – her signature elegant simplicity outshines every woman on that beach. All those women belong to la belle epoque period – women wore ridiculous big hats with feathers, suffocating tight corsets to create maximal visual effect for male audience…But not Coco Chanel, she was about to embark on a journey to the beginning of the modern woman.

Don’t miss out this film, even if you are not a real fan of Haute Couture. After all, Chanel was such an influential iconic figure in fashion industry. She is a legend. And this film is well-made and beautifully directed.

其实我连大名鼎鼎的5号香水都不曾用过,也不是买不起,主要是不太适合自己. 但是这部电影拍的实在不错! 自传电影很不好掌握分寸的,何况香奈尔如此长夀, 一不小心,不是顾此失彼就是泛泛而谈. 此片选取的是香奈尔成名之前的故事, 以时装做背景, 穿插浪漫爱情故事, Audrey的演技又上了一层楼!


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