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Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky (2009)

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Paris 1913. Coco Chanel is infatuated with the rich and handsome Boy Capel, but she is also compelled by her work. Igor Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring is about to be performed. The ... See full summary »

Director:

Jan Kounen

Writers:

Chris Greenhalgh (screenplay and dialogue), Chris Greenhalgh (novel) | 2 more credits »
2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Mads Mikkelsen ... Igor Stravinsky
Anna Mouglalis ... Coco Chanel
Elena Morozova ... Katarina Stravinskaya
Natacha Lindinger ... Misia Sert
Grigori Manoukov Grigori Manoukov ... Sergey Diagilev
Radivoje Bukvic ... Grand Duke Dimitri (as Rasha Bukvic)
Nicolas Vaude Nicolas Vaude ... Ernest Beaux
Anatole Taubman ... Arthur 'Boy' Capel
Erick Desmarestz Erick Desmarestz ... Le médecin (as Eric Desmarestz)
Clara Guelblum Clara Guelblum ... Milena Stravinskaya
Maxime Daniélou Maxime Daniélou ... Teodor Stravinsky
Sophie Hasson Sophie Hasson ... Ludmila Stravinskaya
Nikita Ponomarenko Nikita Ponomarenko ... Sulima Stravinskaya
Catherine Davenier Catherine Davenier ... Marie
Olivier Claverie Olivier Claverie ... Joseph
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Storyline

Paris 1913. Coco Chanel is infatuated with the rich and handsome Boy Capel, but she is also compelled by her work. Igor Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring is about to be performed. The revolutionary dissonances of Igor's work parallel Coco's radical ideas. She wants to democratize women's fashion; he wants to redefine musical taste. Coco attends the scandalous first performance of The Rite in a chic white dress. The music and ballet are criticized as too modern, too foreign. Coco is moved but Igor is inconsolable. Paris 1920, Coco is newly wealthy and successful but grief-stricken after Boy's death in a car crash. Igor, following the Russian Revolution is now a penniless refugee living in exile in Paris. Coco is introduced to Igor by Diaghilev, impresario of the Ballets Russes. The attraction between them is instant and electric. Coco invites Igor along with his wife - now sick with consumption - together with his four children and a menagerie of birds to stay at her new villa, Bel ... Written by Chris Greenhalgh

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Music | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some strong sexuality and nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

France | Japan | Switzerland

Language:

French | Russian | English

Release Date:

23 July 2010 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$44,454, 13 June 2010, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$1,724,882, 17 October 2010
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Released virtually concurrently with Anne Fontaine's Coco Before Chanel (2009) with Audrey Tautou. Both films were released in the US by Sony Classics. See more »

Goofs

While the film presents the premiere of "The Rite of Spring" as if it took place in the beginning of the program for the evening, in fact it was preceded by another ballet, titled "Les Sylphides". "The Rite of Spring" was second on the program. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Hannibal: Oeuf (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Spirit of Peace 3
Performed by Popol Vuh / Florian Fricke
with the permission of Edition Popol Vuh
Composed by Florian Fricke
Text by Florian Fricke
Publishers: Wewerka Hans Musikverlag & Autobahn Musik GmbH
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
the Modern world under a wet blanket...it's all gorgeous and tempting, but thin, too
17 December 2011 | by secondtakeSee all my reviews

Coco Chanel and Igor Stravinsky (2009)

It begins with the shocking (at the time) premier of the 1913 Russian composer Igor Stravinsky's great ballet, "Rite of Spring," that resulted in a minor riot in the theater (police were called, people were out of their seats and shouting). In a way, this recreation justifies the film right there--it's a bold and believable staging of the original, which has huge importance in the history of music and dance.

Then there is a party after the war, with typical early 1920s abandonment. A new era has arrived, and Stravinsky and Chanel meet.

The rest might seem to be history, but it's not. The whole rest of the film is really fiction, overall, a supposed affair between the two, and the supposed results of it in their work (Chanel No. 5 and some of Stravinsky's middle period works).

It's a slow unfolding, in part because there is little to work with. The first half hour is made up of just two scenes (the ballet and the party). Then there are mostly quiet and upscale domestic situations, some intimacies, some quiet times between. The period details are pretty wonderful, and the filming is respectfully beautiful, much like a Merchant Ivory film (which might be set in the same general period).

Acting? This is a puzzle. Both Chanel (French actress Ann Mouglalis) and Stravinsky (Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen) play everything with painful restraint. Who's to say exactly what these people were like, but surely the music is nothing if not crazy for the times (and beautifully crazy, for sure), and the fashions were nothing if not radical (and beautifully so)? But things develop as if everyone is psychotically shy and inhibited.

Most of you know there was another Coco Chanel movie released this same year, "Coco before Chanel," about the young woman's life before her fame, and in a way, the Coco there played by Audrey Tatou makes more sense. That movie was imperfect, too, and it might be said that between the two, a glimpse of the real woman might be possible, which is in a way remarkable enough. The addition of Stravinsky and his music is compelling on an artistic level, but not a dramatic one.

The movie, in its own way, tries to be romantically dramatic. The camera moves around people as they speak, and follows them into rooms and around corners. The music (mostly Stravinsky's) is vivid and rich (and Modern), and the sets are filled with plain old prettiness--wallpaper and light through doorways and a room full of flower petals (leading, we find out, to perfumes). It's all a great place to end up for an evening.

If only the company were more interested, and interesting.


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