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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, 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:

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:

€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

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

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 »


Soundtracks

Brulant danger
Performed by Patrick Laviosa
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
An absorbing but disposable biopic
25 August 2009 | by FramescourerSee 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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