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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

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

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

Referenced in De slimste mens ter wereld: Episode #8.26 (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

Quand l'amour meurt
Performed by Blanche Leleu and Patrick Laviosa
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
It looks and feels great, but lacks magic, and the events are more interesting than moving
15 March 2010 | by See all my reviews

Coco Before Chanel (2009)

Audrey Tatou has had a heck of a time maturing from her astonishing role in Amelie (2001), and if she showed her young true self better in He Loves Me (2002), she faltered badly in The Da Vinci Code. Now, playing the young Coco Chanel, she seems to have some solid footing. Oddly, it is partly by playing a part that requires seriousness, even a dour gloom. It's a solid role and a good performance.

The idea of the story is odd, in a way, because it shows very little of those turning points in Coco Chanel's early career as a fashion maven (and this is what we really are dying to see). This really is before Chanel, the brand, and at first it comes off a little routine, showing the young years, and her trying to get out of having to do silly song and dance acts. Eventually she moves up and meets people of influence (the two always go together, don't they?), and turns a corner by making hats for some well off women who have taken to them, and to her.

What makes the movie interesting is Chanel's relationships with other men, two in particular, and in the general libertine scene she found herself joining, if not always liking. She does find love, maybe twice (one more paternal, replacing the father who abandoned her as a child). And all three male actors are spot-on believable.

As is Tatou. The whole affair is interesting but with little magic or surprise. It's well made and well paced and you won't get drowsy, but expect a routine exploration. And learn something about a truly self-made woman who would change the look of the Twentieth Century, head to toe.


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