Coco avant Chanel
It's hard to tell if the movie intends to portray Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel as morally compromised and often bratty, as part of a larger conversation about the forging of genius. If so, the script could have stood to make that clearer, but if not, Coco as portrayed here isn't impossible to spend time with; you just find yourself wishing that she'd light a fire under it already if she's not going to stay with Balsan.
The movie has heavy atmosphere, though; you get a sense of the coexisting claustrophobia and rudderlessness that attend being kept in that way. The acting is very good too, especially Benoit Poelvoorde and Alessandro Nivola. Roles like theirs in a bio-pic like this can come out cardboard no matter what you do, but Balsan and Capel have depth here. Nivola's choices seem a little Regency-novel initially, but stick with him, he turns it around.
The end is a bit tired, all the reflections in the mirrors and the flashbacks, but it makes a nice moment for Tautou, who prior to that isn't called on to do much but pose and glare.
Sarah 43, Death Race 15; 12 of 24 categories completed
Tags: Alessandro Nivola Audrey Tautou Benoit Poelvoorde Coco Chanel movies Oscars 2010 Death Race