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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.

Director:

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

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Audrey Tautou ... Gabrielle Chanel
Benoît Poelvoorde ... Étienne Balsan
Alessandro Nivola ... Boy Capel
Marie Gillain ... Adrienne Chanel
Emmanuelle Devos ... Emilienne d'Alençon
Régis Royer Régis Royer ... Alec, le jockey
Etienne Bartholomeus Etienne Bartholomeus ... Maître d'hôtel Balsan (as Étienne Bartholomeus)
Yan Duffas Yan Duffas ... Maurice de Nexon
Fabien Béhar Fabien Béhar ... Patron boutique (as Fabien Behar)
Roch Leibovici Roch Leibovici ... Jean, le palefrenier
Jean-Yves Chatelais Jean-Yves Chatelais ... Directeur beuglant
Pierre Diot Pierre Diot ... Acteur théâtre
Vincent Nemeth Vincent Nemeth ... Gros homme théâtre
Bruno Abraham-Kremer Bruno Abraham-Kremer ... Tailleur Deauville
Lisa Cohen Lisa Cohen ... Gabrielle Chanel, 10 ans
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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, adopting the nickname Coco from her father in early childhood. 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 J-26

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

From rags to riches to Haute-Couture: the incredible story of Coco Chanel. See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

France | Belgium

Language:

French | English

Release Date:

6 November 2009 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Coco Before Chanel See more »

Filming Locations:

Cabourg, Calvados, France See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$23,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$406,768, 27 September 2009

Gross USA:

$6,113,834

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$50,812,934
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cable)

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color | Black and White (final shot)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

In 1967, Katharine Hepburn was planning to make a musical of Chanel's life, with Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe providing the songs. It was canceled after a series of high-profile, big budget musical flops. 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

Featured in Angela and Friends: Episode #1.14 (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Quand l'amour meurt
Music by Octave Crémieux
Lyrics by Georges Millandy
Performed by Blanche Leleu and Patrick Laviosa
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

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.


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