A woman returns to her Orthodox Jewish community that shunned her for her attraction to a female childhood friend. Once back, their passions reignite as they explore the boundaries of faith and sexuality.
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 its 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
It was illegal for women to wear men's clothing during that time period in France, hence the scandal over Colette's choice to begin wearing pants. Ironically, homosexuality itself was legal, and had been since 1791. See more »
At the start of the film the Wisteria is in bloom suggesting that it is late spring, however Colette's mother asks her to pick some Blackberries, which would not be ripe for picking until late summer/early autumn. See more »
People love to talk. They praise you to your face. Then the moment you turn around there's knives in your back.
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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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