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Coco Before Chanel never really warms up In August we got "Valentino: The Last Emperor, " a documentary about Italian fashion designer Valentino Garavani. A month later came "The September Issue, " another doc, about Vogue magazine editor Anna Wintour. And this week (Nov. 6), the French language "Coco Before Chanel" a period biopic on game changing designer Coco Chanel lands at local theaters. Audrey Tautou, in a scene from Coco Before Chanel. If there was a time that fashion has been more fashionable among filmmakers, I can t remember it. There are no catwalks, no emaciated models, very few evening gowns. "Coco Before Chanel, " as suggested by its nike free flyknit 3.0 title, tells the story behind the icon, taking place before Chanel would do her part to revolutionize the fashion world with her simple, smart elegance. A better title: "Coco Before She Was Interesting." Director Anne Fontaine starts her film in 1893 at the French orphanage at which Chanel spent her childhood, a typically depressing place in which the closest thing to fashion was in the "Flying Nun" style habits. Audrey Tautou in Coco Before Chanel. COCO BEFORE CHANEL 2 stars. out of 4Snapshot: A biopic focusing on the early life of pioneering kids air max French fashion designer Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel. In French with subtitles. What works: It boasts rich production values. What doesn t: As slow to develop as it is, it could have been titled "Coco Before She Was Interesting." Starring: Audrey Tautou, Benoit Poelvoorde, Alessandro Nivola. Director: Anne Fontaine. Rating: PG 13 for sexual content and smoking. Running time: 1 hour 45 minutes. There are romantic entanglements (with Alessandro Nivola, who shot "Who Do You Love?" in New Orleans last year, and Benoit nike free run uk Poelvoorde) to add a spark of life to the proceedings and propel her toward her career in couture. Unfortunately, Fontaine spends too much time on the relationship that didn t mean much to Chanel or her career, and too little time on the one nike air max 2013 that did. As a result, audiences may find themselves curious about what happens next, but not genuinely caring one way or the other. Even the casting of the always appealing Audrey Tautou ("The Da Vinci Code, " "Amelie," "Priceless") in the nike air max 90 black title role fails to pay off. Playing such a guarded character robs Tautou of her greatest asset, her warmth and charm, so she is effectivly left playing with one arm tied behind her back. No decision yet on charges for Marigny homeowner who shot teenage intruderFat City in 2014: A turning point for Metairie s former nightlife district?When marriage equality is a constitutional right, how will Louisiana leaders respond?: Robert Mann.

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Coco Before Chanel shadows Coco Chanel s beginning Coco Before Chanel (PG 13) (105 min.) Famed for liberating women s fashion from crunching corsets and comical frills, Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel is more interesting as a movie character during her younger, precelebrity years than the aged maven Katharine Hepburn and Shirley MacLaine played. Especially when portrayed by Audrey nike free running shoes Tautou (Am possessing the kind of face that cameras must have been invented for. The Coco of Anne Fontaine s movie is ambitious nearly to a fault, an aspiring seamstress playing cabaret flirt during off hours for wealthy men, in order to rise from poverty to esteemed status in Belle France. Yet Tautou never makes her appear whorish or anything less than opportunistic in a most delightful way. She s a Jane Austen hero with carnal gumption, a crafty paramour who d fascinate even if her future wouldn t be so successful. Coco Before Chanel begins in 1893 with Coco and her sister dumped at an orphanage and quickly ages air max sale her to Parisian chanteuse, drawing lascivious glances from rich men and returning them with irresistible indifference. One patron, the dumpy race horse millionaire Balsan (Benoit Poelvoorde), pursues Coco out of desperation she recognizes and exploits, moving into his mansion estate, hidden from wealthy friends who would disapprove. From the shadows, Coco views their fashion with bemused disapproval; hats resembling meringues, waists cinched like one of steeds, unable to move or sit comfortably. In one of several scenes of inspiration, Coco slices one of suits, stitching nike free trainer 5.0 it into the first of her mannish fashions to make a startling entrance. Fontaine expertly makes her eyes into ours, seeing the possibility of colors and fabrics around her. The movie loses punch when Coco s path to fashion history is interrupted by something like a love triangle. English friend Arthur "Boy" Capel (bland but nike free run 7.0 handsome Alessandro Nivola) becomes his rival for Coco s affection, although both seem more possessive than in love. Boy provides other sartorial and eventually tragic inspiration for Coco but hardly enough to justify his screen time. Fontaine s film ends around mens nike free run 3 1915 when Coco is just beginning to leave her mark in an era of male dominance, freeing women from pastry fashions. Yet, in a dead end finale at odds with everything before it, we see older Coco surveying a procession of models in what passes as modern haute couture. They don t appear any more liberated or comfortable than the socialites Coco freed. All Tautou does in that scene is smile and it s almost enough to make it work. Tautou s knack for concealing and revealing her character s thoughts glances at apparel and fabrics speak volumes make Coco Before Chanel more involving than it probably deserves to be. Coco had a reputation for making up stories about her past whenever it benefited her, an improvised caginess Tautou conveys even without speaking. You can miss a few subtitles, distracted by that lovely face. B+

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Coco Before Chanel Politics cheap nike air max 2013 Nation Now Politics Now Top of the Ticket Science Science Now Obituaries World World Now Afghanistan war Africa Americas Asia Europe Middle East Business Money Co. The most obvious credit goes to the strong, sure performance of Tautou, who costarred in "The Da Vinci Code" following her breakthrough nike free 5.0 pink in the successful "Amelie." Tautou not only resembles Chanel, she inhabits the role completely, using flashing eyes and a relentless intelligence to convey the unbending strength of a woman determined to make something of her life in a time and place when that was far from the norm. The decision to focus "Coco" on the fashion designer s formative years was made by Fontaine, who cast Tautou before the script was written. One white nike free run of the most interesting of contemporary French directors, Fontaine s earlier films, particularly "Dry Cleaning" and "How I Killed My Father," brought empathy and tact to emotionally complex stories of troubled and troubling relationships. Though "Coco Before Chanel" is much less edgy than those earlier films, nike air max classic it shares with them a sensitive interest in the destiny of society s outsiders. And no one was more outside the system than Gabrielle Chanel, born poor in rural France and, after her mother died, abandoned by her father to be brought up in an orphanage run by nuns. It s in the nature nike air max infrared of "Coco Before Chanel" that we have the advantage over its subject: We know Chanel s career arc, her success at turning fashion almost inside out by creating clothes for women that allowed for movement and freedom. And the film uses that by letting us notice things, such as the unusual black and white habits of the Aubazine order that might have influenced the designer almost without her knowing it. After the orphanage years, we see Chanel around the turn of the century living with her sister Adrienne (the character, played by Marie Gillain, is a composite of Chanel s real life sister and aunt). Based in the town of Moulins, they are trying, without much success, to succeed as cabaret singers, though Chanel does acquire the nickname "Coco" after a famous song of the day. Even in these early days, the key elements of Chanel s personality her sharp tongue and formidable will are present and accounted for. A gift for survival was one of this young Napoleon s strengths, though at the time neither she nor anyone else had any idea exactly what world she would be conquering. Then, as often happens with ambitious folk, fate takes a hand in Chanel s life, not once, but several times. First she meets the wealthy horse fancier and playboy Etienne Balsan (the marvelous Belgian actor Benoit Poelvoorde) and ends up living in his chateau as his mistress. Bored beyond measure and aghast at the way fashionable people dress, Chanel raids Balsan s closet to create clothes for herself. She also meets a popular stage actress (Emmanuelle Devos) who is so wild about the hats Chanel has designed for her own use she starts to wear them herself. Another friend of Balsan s who has an even bigger influence on Chanel is Arthur "Boy" Capel (Alessandro Nivola), a wealthy Briton who so believed in her work he financed her first Paris shop. Capel was also the star crossed love of Chanel s life, and her struggle to allow herself to feel an emotion she had refused to believe existed is one of the film s most interesting dynamics. "I know how to express the present," Chanel liked to say, and showing us just how that expression took form and shape is the accomplishment of this satisfying film.

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Coco Chanel and Igor Stravinsky is all style Mads Mikkelsen and Anna Mouglalis in Coco Chanel and Igor Stravinksy. Getting two biographies on the same person in such a short window is unusual. What s even nike free 3 more unusual is that both suffer from the same flaw. Like "Coco Before Chanel" last year, "Coco and Igor" is more of a microbiography, focusing on a tiny window in an enormously influential life. Instead, Kounen zeroes in on the rumored love affair nike free online that Chanel (a dour Anna Mouglalis) carried on with married conductor Igor Stravinsky (an even more dour Mads Mikkelsen). Beautiful cinematography and costuming add a spark to Kounen s slow moving script; nike air max 1 if nothing else, this is a gorgeous looking film. And though it is reliant more upon mood than dialog, there are at least hints at the creative results of their coupling. (Among the most interesting bits: nike air max tailwind Chanel s work on creating Chanel No. 5, some of the rare shop talk Kounen s film offers.) But the question viewers will likely ask again goes unanswered: What makes this remarkable woman tick? We understand by the way she stares longingly at a photograph that she s still grieving the untimely death of her longtime lover Boy Capel. ("You don t like color, Mme. Chanel?" she s asked. Her curt response: "As long as it s black.") But that s the extent of the character development. To a degree, that s because the real Chanel was famously guarded cold, humorless, demanding. Maybe one of these days, a filmmaker will crack that veneer. COCO CHANEL AND IGOR STRAVINSKY 2.5 stars, out of 4 Snapshot: A period drama about the rumored love affair between the fashion icon and the Russian composer. In French and Russian, with subtitles. What works: Gorgeous cinematography and rich costumes lend a visual elegance. What doesn t: It never answers the key question: What made this remarkable woman tick? Starring: Anna Mouglalis, Mads Mikkelsen, Elena Morozova. Director: Jan Kounen. Rating: R for some strong sexuality and nudity. Running time: 1 hour 58 minutes. Where: Canal Place. nike air max white No decision yet on charges for Marigny homeowner who shot teenage intruderFat City in 2014: A turning point for Metairie s former nightlife district?When marriage equality is a constitutional right, how will Louisiana leaders respond?: Robert Mann.