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Colette (2018)

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Colette is pushed by her husband to write novels under his name. Upon their success, she fights to make her talents known, challenging gender norms.

Director:

Wash Westmoreland

Writers:

Richard Glatzer (screenplay by), Wash Westmoreland (screenplay by) | 2 more credits »
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Popularity
177 ( 47)
1 win & 10 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Keira Knightley ... Colette
Fiona Shaw ... Sido
Dominic West ... Willy
Robert Pugh ... Jules
Sloan Thompson ... Matilde
Arabella Weir ... Mme. de Caillavet
Máté Haumann ... Count Muffat
Ray Panthaki ... Veber
Al Weaver ... Schwob
Virág Bárány Virág Bárány ... Lotte Kinceler
Dickie Beau ... Wague
Kylie Watt Kylie Watt ... Opera Singer
Janine Harouni ... Jeanne de Caillavet
Jake Graf ... Gaston de Caillavet
Joe Geary Joe Geary ... Bailiff
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Storyline

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 jesusblack-30225

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

History is about to change. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some sexuality/nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

9 January 2019 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Colette See more »

Filming Locations:

Budapest, Hungary See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$161,179, 23 September 2018, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$5,137,622, 29 November 2018
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

According to Keira Knightley, it was illegal for women to wear men's clothing in that time period in France. See more »

Goofs

While the Douglas Fir certainly is native to North America, it doesn't mean it couldn't be grown in some other part of the worlds, even in France - from seed or a transplant, for example. There are also the Japanese Douglas-fir, the Chinese Douglas Fir, and the Yunnan Douglas-fir. See more »

Quotes

Colette: My name is Gabrielle Colette and the hand that holds the pen writes history.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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 »


Soundtracks

Dream of Egypt
Written by Thomas Adès
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User Reviews

 
Lovely to look at, but not thrilling to sit through at one stretch
12 October 2018 | by richard-1787See all my reviews

This movie is truly beautiful to watch. Elegant period dress, recreations of turn-of-the-century Paris inside and out that had me wondering how they were achieved. And the acting by the two principles is truly first-rate.

Keira Knightley has it all and does it all as the title character. A truly beautiful performance, including some line-reading that was worthy of Shakespeare - which this screenplay most certainly is not. (See below.) She held me riveted in many a scene.

Not far behind her in the acting dept is Dominic West, who turns Willy into a real if very flawed human being. Modern literary history sees him through Colette's later eyes, so it dismisses him terribly, but here he comes off as a real charmer.

So what's not to like? A great deal, unfortunately. The script, at least through the first half of the movie, is paint by numbers: very obvious, very flat, very unrevealing. Though Knightley clearly could have conveyed anything, it doesn't do a good job of helping us to understand the very complex woman we see. Too often, it sounds like a summary of a Wikipedia biography of the author. What made her so interesting? What made her tick? What made her so remarkable? The script gives us no clue. Is it because the script was written by two men and, third billing, one woman? I don't buy that. Madame Bovary was written by a man, as were many other great female characters in literature. Perhaps the problem lies, at least in part, with the directing as well.

If you want to see this movie, I would wait until you can watch it at home, so you can pause it to do other things when you get bored or just want a break. Having to sit through all 111 minutes in a theater without a break was too much for me - though it did get more involving near the end. Kudos to Knightley and West, certainly, for doing a great job with their roles. But this was too much like a beautifully costumed and filmed history lesson, and not enough like an engaging story.


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