At last night's fashion editor-heavy screening at Sony's New York HQ, Anne Fontaine's biopic, starring Audrey Tautou as the young designer-to-be, received a resounding (and very informal) thumbs up.
Coco Chanel's back story bears a similar resemblance to that of another French star Edith Piaf (although the designer's life was far less tragic in the end). She was orphaned at a young age, learns to sew (and sing), and finds her way into the arms of a man who cares for her and bankrolls her business.
Beautifully shot in Paris and Normandy, the film depicts Chanel's young life leading up to the empire. Tautou's spitfire impression is engaging and endearing. Much like Marion Cotillard's Piaf in "La Vie En Rose," I imagine it will earn her a whole new fan base in the U.S.
What's interesting is that someone who was born over a century ago is still profoundly relevant in today's digitized society.
Though she took many lovers, Chanel never married; design concepts that she originated in the early 1900s (menswear-inspired ensembles, tweed suits, sailor tops) are en vogue today; and her signature fragrance, Chanel No. 5, is still among the best selling in the world.
Three films have been dedicated to the designer of late (Shirley MacLaine and Anna Mouglalis have also done portrayals). It's an enduring legacy that deserves the attention.
Which begs the question: Will you go see this film? Leave a comment.