Coco Before Chanel 2009 PG-13 CC

Amazon Instant Video

(103) IMDb 6.7/10
Available in HD

Audrey Tautou (The Da Vinci Code, Am?lie) shines in this intriguing portrait of the early life of Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel, the orphan who would build a fashion empire and be known universally by her nickname, Coco.

Starring:
Audrey Tautou, Beno?t Poelvoorde
Runtime:
1 hour 51 minutes

Available in HD on supported devices.

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Coco Before Chanel

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Product Details

Genres Drama, International
Director Anne Fontaine
Starring Audrey Tautou, Beno?t Poelvoorde
Supporting actors Alessandro Nivola, Marie Gillain, Emmanuelle Devos, Régis Royer, Etienne Bartholomeus, Yan Duffas, Fabien Béhar, Roch Leibovici, Jean-Yves Chatelais, Pierre Diot, Vincent Nemeth, Bruno Abraham-Kremer, Lisa Cohen, Inès Bessalem, Marie-Bénédicte Roy, Emilie Gavois-Kahn, Fanny Deblock, Claude Brécourt
Studio Sony Pictures Classics
MPAA rating PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Rental rights 24 hour viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

The film is a little slow, but it's similar to the pace of her life.
Carrie Dunham-LaGree
It is a moving portrait of the very early life and influences on Coco Chanel.
charmnday
There isn't a listed option to view the film with Subtitles in English.
Joseph G. Mac Pherson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

106 of 109 people found the following review helpful By B. Merritt VINE VOICE on March 13, 2010
Format: Blu-ray
I'm a guy. Okay. Let's get that out of the bag right now. I'm not overly fond of what I wear. Blue jeans and a t-shirt suit me just fine for most occasions. So when my wife wanted me to watch a foreign film about some gal named "Chanel" who was a famous clothes designer, I felt like I was in for an early bedtime (I can easily fall asleep during boring films).

So we slipped the DVD in and proceeded to watch what I assumed would be an incredibly monotonous film about a lady making clothing. I could hear my wife already: "Oooh. Isn't that beautiful." Or "Look how well she hemmed that pinafore" (whatever the hell a pinafore is ...and can you hem it? I still don't know).

But, much to my surprise, the film was more a myopic on the early life of Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel. Hence the name Coco BEFORE Chanel. Duh. Guess I should've paid better attention to the title.

There's certainly information and dress-wear visuals throughout, but the movie is more honed toward what made Coco who she would become later in life. Audrey Tautou plays the prime role of Coco and does so with grace, beauty, and a unique gruffness and individuality that struck me as incredibly honest (I did not enjoy her performance in The Da Vinci Code, so this was a nice change). She really carried the entire film and made every scene extremely watchable.

But the screenplay by writer/director Anne Fontaine was what helped keep this film together. Like I said at the beginning of my review, I felt that if it had expressly focused on clothing and the making of clothing, I would've been sawing some serious Zs before 30 minutes into the film. But I wasn't.
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67 of 71 people found the following review helpful By Carrie Dunham-LaGree on November 28, 2009
Coco Before Chanel is aptly titled; it follows Coco Chanel from her time in an orphanage, but it stops where most people become familiar with her story. The film stars the delightful Audrey Tatou as Coco. Perhaps my favorite thing about Coco Before Chanel was it's honesty. I confess to loving the feel-good rags to riches biopics as much as anyone, but it's rare to see a biographical film provide hope with honesty and without sappiness. Most of the film is not feel good. It's hardly depressing, but it is real. Coco didn't have an easy life. She and her sister were orphans, and they fought for opportunities. Coco makes some decisions she may not be proud of, but she doesn't regret them. She doesn't have the dream of becoming a fashion designer from day one, just as few of us truly know what we'll end up doing from the beginning. Her skills, experience and desire for self-sufficiency slowly evolve to lead her to it.

The film is a little slow, but it's similar to the pace of her life. It seems like it's not going anywhere for awhile, and if you didn't know what Chanel is, you might think that. I personally thought the subtitles were a little fast. My French is decent enough to understand some of the dialogue, but I often read the subtitle before the characters had begun to speak their lines. The beautiful lulls of dialogue featured the next subtitle, which threw off the pace a bit for me.

The beauty of the film comes in its last half hour, when it becomes clear the slowness was in fact subtlety leading to a mesmerizing and poetic final half-hour. It's the kind of film one might be tempted to stop watching if she were at home, but ends up loving. It truly is a film that is the sum of it's parts. It works as a whole, but it's not necessarily riveting from the opening frame.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By P. Spijkers on October 28, 2009
This film about Coco Chanel in her early years is a delight to see. The cinematography is beautiful, the musical score romantic, the actors make the characters come to life. This film is more about her early relationships and first love and her non-conformistic view on fashion and independence. I loved every minute of it. Audrey Tautou is wonderful as Coco. Alessandro Nivola is a captivating Boy Chapel and Benoit Poelvoorde is a great cast as Balsan.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By charmnday on December 14, 2009
Format: DVD
If you are looking for a fashion history with lots of dresses a la project runway, this is not your movie. It is a moving portrait of the very early life and influences on Coco Chanel. The film is beautifully shot, scored, acted, and subtitled. As other reviewers have noted for the CD sountrack,the music is fabulous, and the movie is visually gorgeous. The acting is superb. Audrey Tautou is another great french beauty and star; I'm sure I will not be the first to compare her to Katherine Deneuve.
This movie unflinchingly shows the young women of the time for whom love with marriage was rarely an option as they were simply chattel forced to marry well by birth, become nuns, sleep their way to wealth and security as mistresses and courteseans, or have nothing as prostitutes. The only single working women other than prostitutes and a few writers were on the stage, in convents,or providing clothes for wealthy women. The film follows the young Coco through her world as a abandoned child in a catholic orphanage and then a mistress/houseguest of a vastly wealthy nobleman. It touches on her good luck in timing to get her accounts away from her lover in time to save her fledgling business.
We see how the lifestyles and even the health of wealthy and frivolous women were drastically changed by the comfort and function of her designs and her eye for beauty. This picture is a period piece that builds slowly, is very French and assumes you already know a bit about Chanel. It is at times quite subtle leaving a lot of the plot obvious but not presented onscreen. It would companion well with a more detailed documentary like "Chanel Chanel" with Chanel and Lagerfield, but it does present an excellent picture of "Coco's" youth and is a good picture on its own.
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