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Coco Before Chanel (2009)
"Coco avant Chanel" (original title)

6.7
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 26,849 users   Metascore: 65/100
Reviews: 63 user | 164 critic | 30 from Metacritic.com

The story of Coco Chanel's rise from obscure beginnings to the heights of the fashion world.

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Title: Coco Before Chanel (2009)

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 4 wins & 18 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Étienne Balsan
...
...
...
Régis Royer ...
Etienne Bartholomeus ...
Yan Duffas ...
Fabien Béhar ...
Patron boutique
Roch Leibovici ...
Jean, le palefrenier
Jean-Yves Chatelais ...
Pierre Diot ...
Vincent Nemeth ...
Bruno Abraham-Kremer ...
Lisa Cohen ...
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Storyline

Several years after leaving the orphanage to which her father never returned for her, Gabrielle Chanel finds herself working in a provincial bar. 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 entrée 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. Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Before she was France's famous mademoiselle...

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for sexual content and smoking | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

|

Release Date:

22 April 2009 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Coco Before Chanel  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

€19,430,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$177,399 (USA) (25 September 2009)

Gross:

$6,109,075 (USA) (5 February 2010)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

, ,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cable)

Sound Mix:

|

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Coco Chanel lived at the Hotel Ritz, in Paris, from 1934 to 1971. The Coco Chanel Suite was named after her in her memory. See more »

Goofs

When Boy allows Coco Chanel to drive the car, and the car stops, she steps out wearing a white scarf that she wasn't wearing when she got into the car. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
[subtitled version of French dialog]
Nun: 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.
See more »


Soundtracks

Concerto no 1 en si bemol mineur
Written by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Performed by Patrick Laviosa
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Coco before Chanel

"Coco before Chanel" is exactly that; the life of an impoverished girl up until the start of what became a fashion empire.

This I must say is a different kind of a biopic. There was some sort of subtleness about it, everything was going too slow and not much was happening in terms of demonstrating that this hopeless little girl from nowhere had this extraordinary talent for cloth-making. Yes we did see her advocating simplicity in times of great extravagance and even dressing up (probably) her first clients but had the viewer not been aware of the brand "Chanel" he or she would have to wait until the finishing titles to realise Coco turned out to become a fashion icon.

If there is one thing about Coco is that she was a rebel; in a late 19th century puritan society she stood up for what she believed, refused to get married and instead of settling for a wedlock with a rich spouse she chose to live the adventure, go to Paris and start up a hat shop.

It seems however that her rebellious nature extended to her design skills. To use her own words: "Simplicity is the keynote of all true elegance." Coco Chanel always kept the clothing she designed simple, comfortable and revealing. Unlike most designers in that Europe, she kept the woman inside the clothes at the center of her creations. "I gave women a sense of freedom; I gave them back their bodies: bodies that were drenched in sweat, due to fashion's finery, lace, corsets, underclothes, padding." Perhaps it was fate or desperation from her impoverished upbringing but the affair with the playboy millionaire and, later, his best friend were pivotal to give her the push she needed to make a start. Though not an expert on French upper class culture but were quite impressed how civilized and elegant the two men were when it came to loving and pursuing the same woman.

All in all a decent film but no wow factor.


46 of 61 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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