Tuesday, October 6, 2009

What I’ve been watching:

Coco Chanel
This film couldn’t decide what it wanted to be. Was it a bio-pic? Was it a tragic romantic drama? The story was told in flashbacks with Shirley Maclaine playing the elder Coco and Barbora Bobulova playing the young Coco. The elder Coco we see as a tough woman who is obsessed with work. In the flashbacks we see how she became this tough, independent woman who is never afraid to speak her mind. We see her leave the orphanage, become a young seamstress, leave to become a mistress to a wealthy man where she begins making hats. When this relationship dissolves she tries to make a go of the hat-making business on her own but fails until she meets with an old friend, another wealthy man, who becomes partners with her, financially and romantically. He becomes the love of her life. We hear her opinions on woman’s clothing and we see glimpses of her designs but little time is spent on the creative process or the history of fashion. As a fan of “Project Runway”, that is what I wanted to see. I did learn a little about why Chanel is an important fashion icon so I was pleased about that but I didn’t see enough of her clothes to be able to recognize her style—except that she made a lot of suits. If you are interested in fashion this film is worth watching. If you’re not, there is little in this film that grabs you and draws you into the story.

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