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Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky (2010)

Anna Mouglalis , Mads Mikkelsen , Jan Kounen  |  R |  DVD
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Anna Mouglalis, Mads Mikkelsen
  • Directors: Jan Kounen
  • Format: AC-3, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD 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: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003L20III
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #46,106 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky" on IMDb

Special Features

The Making of Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

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

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…

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I know it's not perfect but I absolutely loved it 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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43 of 49 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "I am an artist...you are a shopkeeper" - 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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29 of 34 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Chilly Biography 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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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars About art December 9, 2010
Format:DVD
I saw this film six times. I obviously loved it not because it was some sort of "biopic," which it was not, but because it was a film using known people in a made up situation that created a powerful story about art, craft, passion and creativity. From what I could find out, almost nothing in the film except the names of the characters had anything to do with fact.

I thought the best way to understand the film and the problematic ending was to see it as a study of two different types of creative artists each using the other's passion to discover something about his/her own work. In the meantime the contrast between the old style of life (Katia) and the new style (Coco) effectively showed the necessity of generosity as the basis for the modern. The film seemed to me to be a feminist statement of the influence of women on a fairly stodgy male whose creativity was dependent first on his wife and then on the passion he felt with Coco. It was the women, both of them, who made him the voice of the modern at the end of the film, but it was Coco's sacrifice of her passion (although Igor made it easy by calling her a "shopkeeper")that allowed him to triumph in the second performance of the "Rite" nine years later. Her appearing in the costume she had designed for the sacrificial victim signaled her sacrifice to art.

I particularly liked the sly way the actress who played Katia showed her superiority to Igor. She nods slightly to her son who then checkmates Igor at chess. She is very aware of her place in his creativity and success. Yet, she represents Old Russia whose voice in exile can no longer be heard.

It is true that the real Igor gave the real Coco the icon seen in the film.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Coco and Igor
I was especially interested in this movie because The Rite of Spring is my favorite. I had never heard of Igor's affair with Coco. Read more
Published 6 days ago by Paul E Reiser
5.0 out of 5 stars The opening scene alone....
...I mean, the choreography to Stravinsky's "The Rite of Spring," is itself overwhelmingly worth the price of admission! Read more
Published 21 days ago by William C. Lloyd
1.0 out of 5 stars My love for Chanel & Stravinsky caused me to get ill from this film
COCO CHANEL & IGOR STRAVINSKY (Dir. Jan Kounen, 2009, 119 minutes, in Russian and French, subtitled) ~

This is a film that will be easy to review in a short, short,... Read more
Published 1 month ago by E. Hernandez
1.0 out of 5 stars Did not work properly.
The DVD did not work properly. It Seemed to only work on a laptop and we tried it in multiple DVD players.
Published 2 months ago by Samantha
5.0 out of 5 stars Mads and Anna
Loved this movie. Never knew about these two before. A different time so sure. Mads also was great in Casino Royale.
Published 5 months ago by D. Paul
5.0 out of 5 stars Coco and Igor
Terrific film. The characters made it real. And I'm thrilled to hear Stravinsky's piece so prevalent throughout the film It's really quite a sexy, dandy film. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Diane S. Akacich
5.0 out of 5 stars Who knew?
If nothing else, the depiction of the 1913 premiere of "Rite of Spring" is worth the price of this DVD. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Karen Cookson
4.0 out of 5 stars Amazing movie.
Amazing! I realy loved the movie. The idea about two very strong personalitys together is very exciting. I recomend for them who love Europeans movies.
Published 6 months ago by Fernanda Grossmann Ziger
4.0 out of 5 stars Good to learn about life of great composer and famous fashion designer
The film is good to "visit" Paris of culture of beginning of the 1910's and latter, also to watch a reconstruction of the famous "Sacre des Printemps" debut, and... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Andre
5.0 out of 5 stars Ballet, fashion, music and perfume!
Ballet, fashion, music, interior decorating and perfume what more could any girl ask for! I loved it especially the reconstruction of first performance of The Right of Spring in... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Janette Heffernan
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