Colette (8/10) Movie Review and Video – CWEB.com
Runtime 112 minutes.
This is a film whose quality is more than a sum of its parts. For me, the best of it is the cinematography (Giles Nuttgens). The locales are so beautifully framed and shot many of the scenes could stand as magnificent oil paintings. The visual values of this movie blew me away. Even without the fine story and good acting, they alone would be worth the price of admission for me. It is just a beautiful movie to watch.
The ambience of early 20th century France is enchantingly evocative.
This is the story of Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette (Keira Knightley), her writings, and her relationship with her husband, a well-known but not very talented Parisian writer known as Willy (Dominic West). After Willy convinces her to ghostwrite a book for him, she creates an autobiographical story about a country girl named Claudine, and it becomes a cultural sensation.
Like the recent film The Wife, Colette sublimates herself and the fame that was justly hers to the cheating, manipulative Willy who basks like a peacock, as Colette turns out book after book about Claudine.
Willie and Colette live an open marriage and Colette quickly recognizes that she is bisexual. Both Knightley and West give fine performances capturing complex characters and their increasingly bizarre relationship.
Written by the late Richard Glatzer (with his partner Wash Westmoreland and Rebecca Lenkiewicz) and directed by Westmoreland, this is as high quality a film as has been made in a long time. As an aside, Glatzer was a long time Bridge opponent of mine, a gifted player who continued playing the game almost up to the date of his death.
As many good biopics do, the film closes with photos of the real people.