In early 18th century England, a frail Queen Anne occupies the throne and her close friend, Lady Sarah, governs the country in her stead. When a new servant, Abigail, arrives, her charm endears her to Sarah.
After marrying successful Parisian writer Henry Gauthier-Villars, known commonly as "Willy" (Dominic West), Gabrielle Colette (Keira Knightley) is transplanted from her childhood home in rural France to the intellectual and artistic splendor of Paris. Soon after, Willy convinces Colette to ghostwrite for him. Colette, in turn, pens a semi-autobiographical novel about a witty and brazen country girl named Claudine, sparking a bestseller and a cultural sensation. After it's success, Colette and Willy become the talk of Paris and their adventures inspire additional Claudine novels. Colette's fight over creative ownership and gender roles drives her to overcome societal constraints, revolutionizing literature, fashion and sexual expression.Written by
The outer shots were shot in Paris but the French countryside was reconstructed in the regions of Northamptonshire and Oxfordshire. Due to the lack of budget needed to shoot entirely in Paris, the team also moved to Budapest where it shot in natural settings and Origo studios. See more »
Although the characters are French, and the film is set in France, they all have British accents. See more »
I Can Read You Like The Top Line of an Optician's Chart.
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There is a dedication to Richard Glatzer, who co-wrote the film's screenplay with Wash Westmoreland, shortly before the closing credits: "For Richard". See more »
My main criticism of this film is that in my view iconic non English characters rarely work if portrayed by actors of another nationality.
I suspect I may have enjoyed this interesting story based on the real life experiences of .possibly the most famous female French .author Colette more as a French film with French actors.
I just think it may have lost some of the subtlety of language and atmosphere
The actors Keira Knightley as Colette and Dominic West as her husband Wily are good in their roles but imagine for example Beatrice Potter portrayed by Audrey Tattou or Agatha Christie starring Marion Cotillard it would be odd to my mind also and fail to successfully capture their Englishness .
In this movie the dialogue is totally English but when Colette is writing, she writes in French, perhaps I'm too picky , it just seemed a little strange.
The story of a husband taking the fame and literary credit for his wife's brilliant writing talent and the wife's compliance to hold a marriage together was told earlier this year far far more effectively in "The Wife" starring Glenn Close.
This film is about Colette but at times seems dominated and more about Wily the husband they seem to me at times both totally unstable and incompatible especially sexually and emotionally.
Willy, fourteen years older than his wife and one of the most notorious libertines in Paris, introduced Colette into avant-garde intellectual and artistic circles while engaging in sexual affairs and encouraging her own lesbian
It's worth seeing , not great or an award contender as far as I'm concerned but a very interesting story about a fascinating character who wrote the famous Claudine novels and of course her famous 1944 novel Gigi, which inspired the much loved Lerner and Loewe musical of the same name.
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