Coco Before Chanel

Rated 3.0

Audrey Tautou stars as Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel, world-famous innovator of women’s fashion. The story covers her days in the poorhouse up until her rise to fame as the maker of dresses and hats that would change what women wear forever. While Tautou is charming as always in the role, Anne Fontaine’s movie is a fuzzy account of Chanel. It covers her brief tenure as a cabaret singer, and a couple of love affairs, but it never really examines what made Chanel such a famed artist. We see her occasionally making a hat or modifying a dress, but most of the time is spent on matters far less interesting. By the time we see her presiding over a fashion show in her infamous apartment, it’s still not clear how Chanel got to that point creatively. Still, it’s worth seeing for Tautou and Alessandro Nivola, who is excellent as Chanel’s love interest, Arthur “Boy” Capel.