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Coco Before Chanel (2009)

Coco avant Chanel (original title)
PG-13 | | Biography, Drama | 6 November 2009 (USA)
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The story of Coco Chanel's rise from obscure beginnings to the heights of the fashion world.

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 5 wins & 19 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Étienne Balsan
...
...
...
Régis Royer ...
Etienne Bartholomeus ...
Maître d'hôtel Balsan (as Étienne Bartholomeus)
Yan Duffas ...
Fabien Béhar ...
Patron boutique (as Fabien Behar)
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 »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

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Language:

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Release Date:

6 November 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Coco Before Chanel  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

€19,430,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£423,268 (UK) (31 July 2009)

Gross:

$6,109,075 (USA) (5 February 2010)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

, ,  »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cable)

Sound Mix:

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Color:

| (final shot)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Back in 1967, Katharine Hepburn was planning to make a musical of Chanel's life with Lerner and Loewe of " My Fair Lady " providing the songs. However a series of big budget, high profile musical flops, amongst them " Star " " Doctor Dolittle " and " Darling Lili ", led to the cancellation of this. 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 »

Connections

Referenced in Woody Before Allen (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Concerto no 1 en si bemol mineur
Written by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (as Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky)
Performed by Patrick Laviosa
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
An absorbing but disposable biopic
25 August 2009 | by (London, UK) – See all my reviews

Anne Fontaine sticks to the remit in this biopic by ignoring the Chanel that most of us are familiar with, i.e. the world-leading brand name in world couture. Instead we get an idiosyncratic, occasionally dramatic but strangely lightweight account of Gabrielle 'Coco' Chanel's formative years as a cabaret act on the run. Audrey Tatou's compelling but unsympathetic Coco insinuates herself into the company of a moneyed aristocrat (Poelvoorde's Étienne Balsan). Fontaine's camera follows her as she see-saws between the hungry absorption of timeless country style in her surroundings and creative repulsion towards the glazed bourgeoisie whom she must suffer.

The only real issue with this film is that most of the its drama only comes from knowing who the protagonist goes on to become. There is next to no mention of Chanel's postwar success and influence. Instead we get the only real styling howler of the film - using contemporary models for a 'catwalk' show that's meant to be no later than the mid-1960s - and a text afterword of dubious use. It's competently, reverently assembled though. 6/10


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