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Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky [Blu-ray]

64 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Paris 1913. At the Theatre Des Champs-Elysées, Igor Stravinsky premieres “The Rite Of Spring”. Coco Chanel is mesmerized…But the revolutionary work is too modern: the enraged audience boos. A near riot ensues. Seven years later, Coco Chanel meets Stravinsky again - a penniless refugee living in exile after the Russian Revolution. The attraction between them is immediate and electric. Coco offers Stravinsky and his family the use of her villa in Garches so that he will be able to continue his work. And so a passionate, intense love affair between two fascinating creative giants begins…

The larger-than-life personalities of the fashion designer Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel and the composer Igor Stravinsky light up the period drama Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky, which is rich in visual and musical details. The captivating French actress Anna Mouglalis gives her Coco a cool, steely elegance, a chilliness that pervades even the extensive and erotic love scenes. The Danish actor Mads Mikkelson plays Stravinsky, a tortured Russian composer who nonetheless has a relatively normal family life and an adoring wife. Stravinsky's and Chanel's worlds first collide in 1913, when the Ballets Russes first perform Stravinsky's avant-garde Rite of Spring in Paris, where high society is scandalized, but where Chanel becomes enchanted and intrigued with Stravinsky's music. The Dutch director Jan Kounen wisely lets Stravinsky's magical, compelling music unfold at its own rate; the ballet and music of Spring take up nearly 20 minutes of the beginning of the film. It's enough to captivate Chanel. Years later, the two meet again when Stravinsky is a penniless émigré in Paris after the Bolshevik Revolution. The two begin a cautious but purposeful dance--two independent, creative brains that cannot be constrained by social niceties or conventions. Once Chanel moves Stravinsky and his family into her country estate as a "patroness," an affair perhaps becomes inevitable. And the sensuality of the photography, the costumes, the music, and the love scenes is undeniable. One begins to wish, however, that the direction would be as crisp as the endless piles of brown leaves in which the brooding Stravinsky is shown lying, contemplating, always contemplating. Perhaps the fact that two intriguing artists of the 20th century collided and struck up an affair is not quite enough to hold together a film. And yet fans of Stravinsky and Chanel, as well as of 20th-century modernism, will find much to admire in Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky. --A.T. Hurley

Special Features

The Making of Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky

Product Details

  • Actors: Anna Mouglalis, Mads Mikkelsen
  • Directors: Jan Kounen
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Blu-ray, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Classics
  • DVD Release Date: September 28, 2010
  • Run Time: 119 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003L20IIS
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #38,020 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky [Blu-ray]" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Olivia Bouwkamp on September 28, 2010
Format: DVD
The images and the sounds&music are soooo exquisite that I can't hold the "lack of a typical story and story arc" against the movie. (I do not care for over the top drama, though I know it can be done well.) This movie lacks this in the story department, there is no "that this happens, and then she said that and he reacted this way". It is much more subtle than that. The pure visuals and sounds tell the story, the emotions and conflicts. The actors are part of the whole thing but not the most important thing, which I have to say I do like. I believe they did their job magnificently just because of that fact, that they don't over act, over dramatize everything.

The story is in the background, the moments in the foreground. It is much more a real way of telling a story, the way we experience life, in moments, in significant moments. And their significance can not always be determined/identified by the actions but by the emotions these actions cause in us.

It is beautiful from start to finish and for my personal taste a treasure, that I will enjoy for years to come.

The movie in two words: elegant, beautiful.
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49 of 56 people found the following review helpful By Gerard D. Launay on June 19, 2010
Format: DVD
This is a beautifully filmed biopic of the steamy affair between Coco Chanel and Igor Stravinsky. As depicted in the film, when the controversial "Rite of Spring" was first produced by the Ballets Russes in 1913, Chanel was one of the few in the audience who was deeply impressed by the composer's genius. From that event, she thereafter invites Igor Stravinsky to be a quasi-permanent guest at her villa in the country; it is there she seduces the maestro.

I wanted to like the picture more than I did. Certainly the music of the "Rite of Spring" - which holds the picture together - is intrinsically thrilling and dramatic. The glimpse of the ballet as it may have been initially produced is intriguing. (For the full ballet, I do recommend the recently released: "Stravinsky and the Ballets Russes" on DVD.)

But ultimately the story does not explain how the affair impacted either Stravinsky's or Chanel's individual creative projects. And the affair itself does not light up the screen - it is almost lukewarm.

The quote I picked for the title of this review is the line that shocked me in the film - when Stravinsky quips at Coco Chanel...and wrongfully at that. Everyone in fashion understands how much of a genius and artist Chanel was. Indeed the gorgeous villa that Chanel decorated is explicitly shown in the movie. It clearly exhibits the bold, simplistic, immeasurably compelling talent of Chanel. The film - which I said earlier is beautifully shot - shows the performance in the Opera House in the Champs-Elysee. It also uses historic costumes from the real Chanel collections.
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33 of 38 people found the following review helpful By stevenrothbard on September 23, 2010
Format: DVD
I watched this movie twice at a large theater with an excellent sound system. I enjoyed the first half hour, which presents a reasonably accurate recreation of the premiere of Stravinsky's ballet THE RITE OF SPRING. Everything seemed accurate, and even the actor who played the conductor Pierre Monteux looked as he might have. After this exciting, even raucous, beginning, however, this movie settled down to a much quieter level which it stayed on for the rest of the picture.
If you're interested in either THE RITE or in Stravinsky, this movie is of limited attraction. If you're interested in Coco Chanel, I'm not sure you'll be fully satisfied, either. The cover of this DVD pictures her as the dominant side of this affair (we don't even see Igor's face here), but the movie is evenly balanced between both, perhaps even giving us more of Stravinsky than Coco. Even though the cinematography, design, writing, acting, and directing is rather stylish, I felt something was missing. That element is passion. This is a curiously chilly biography of what is supposed to be a mad fling. Coco is presented as an ice queen, even though she's a generous patroness of the arts, bankrolling the revival of THE RITE with new choreography by Massine in 1920. Her love sessions with the great composer were done with the same detachment as one might watch an iceberg break off of Antarctica. The old ladies in my audience behaved as if these scenes were part of a documentary about penguins.
One other point I'd like to mention is that the final scenes in the film seem to suggest that Stravinsky ended his life as a lonely old man living in an apartment in some American city, apparently pining for Coco, which is nonsense.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By James Ferguson VINE VOICE on March 18, 2011
Format: DVD
It seems that Coco & Igor is more a beautifully imagined story than it is a biography. The movie is based on a novel that presumed a relationship between them during his time in Paris in 1920. The only problem is that Igor Stravinsky seems like little more than a "boy toy" played between Coco and his deeply jealous wife, Katerina. The women in this movie are by far the most captivating to watch, while Mads Mikkelsen pretty much plays Stravinsky like a rube, at least when it comes to affairs of the heart.

I won't hold this against Mads, because I have enjoyed him in other movies, but he seems clearly miscast as Stravinsky, right down to his heavy Russian accent. If you are going to invite Yelena Morozova to play Katerina, why not invite Oleg Menshikov or Vladimir Mashkov to play Stravinsky. Much better for a Russian actor to speak with a heavy French accent than it is to have a Danish actor struggle with two languages.

As a film, Coco & Igor is beautiful to watch. It plays out like a sonata, with sparse dialog, conveying much less than do the impeccable sets, lighting and clothing that take you back to 1920. This is after Coco became Chanel and had established her House and was scrutinizing what would become her famous perfume. The camera soaks up every detail right down to the art deco etchings on Stravinsky's brandy snifter as he works out the final revisions to his Rite of Spring, which had been so badly received before the war. That he owed any debt of gratitude to Coco Chanel for this is highly unlikely, but it would be nice to think so.
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Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky [Blu-ray]
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