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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:
... Gabrielle Chanel
... Étienne Balsan
... Boy Capel
... Adrienne Chanel
... Emilienne d'Alençon
Régis Royer ... Alec, le jockey
Etienne Bartholomeus ... Maître d'hôtel Balsan (as Étienne Bartholomeus)
Yan Duffas ... Maurice de Nexon
Fabien Béhar ... Patron boutique (as Fabien Behar)
Roch Leibovici ... Jean, le palefrenier
Jean-Yves Chatelais ... Directeur beuglant
Pierre Diot ... Acteur théâtre
Vincent Nemeth ... Gros homme théâtre
Bruno Abraham-Kremer ... Tailleur Deauville
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, 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:

|

Language:

|

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 USA:

$177,399, 27 September 2009, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$6,109,075, 7 February 2010
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

, ,  »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cable)

Sound Mix:

|

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

Etienne wields a polo mallet with his left hand. That's forbidden under modern polo rules, but it was allowed at the time of the movie. 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 Siskel & Ebert: Episode #24.4 (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Caroline Caroline
Performed by Marthe Drouin and Patrick Laviosa
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Frequently Asked Questions

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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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