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Coco Before Chanel [Blu-ray] (Get Three Selected Blu-ray Titles for £17*)

Audrey Tautou , Benoît Poelvoorde , Anne Fontaine    Suitable for 12 years and over   Blu-ray
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (101 customer reviews)
Price: £3.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Coco Before Chanel [Blu-ray] + Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky [Blu-ray]
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Product details

  • Actors: Audrey Tautou, Benoît Poelvoorde, Alessandro Nivola, Marie Gillain, Emmanuelle Devos
  • Directors: Anne Fontaine
  • Producers: Caroline Benjo, Philippe Carcassonne, Carole Scotta
  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region B/2 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 12
  • Studio: Studiocanal
  • DVD Release Date: 23 Nov 2009
  • Run Time: 110 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (101 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 60,539 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

Lavish biopic recounting the life and work of legendary French fashion designer Coco Chanel, from her humble beginnings in an Auvergne orphanage in the late 1800s after being abandoned by her pedlar father. Audrey Tatou stars in the title role as Gabrielle 'Coco' Chanel, whose inspiration and determination eventually took her to the most elevated position in the male-dominated fashion industry.


From humble beginnings to the heights of society, this is the astonishing story of Gabrielle Chanel, the legendary couturier who became a timeless symbol of success, freedom and style. Orphaned at a young age, Coco Chanel was raised in a convent school, where she learned to embroider and sew. Bored and dissatisfied with the living she could earn as a seamstress, she began singing in backstreet cafés and bars, where she attracted the attention of Étienne Balsan, a rich gentleman who immediately became intrigued by the stubborn, striking young ingénue. Swept up in her rich lover’s world, Coco soon drew the eyes of society towards her with her unique, elegant style in a time of flamboyance and excess. Just as controversial was the passionate love affair in which she became embroiled, which shattered the conventions of her society – a love so dangerous and forbidden it threatened to destroy her. Also featuring Benoît Poelvoorde (Man Bites Dog) and Alessandro Nivola (Mansfield Park, The Eye), Coco Before Chanel stars Audrey Tautou (Amelie, The Da Vinci Code) as Coco, the woman who dared to be different and became an icon! EXTRAS: COCO BEFORE CHANEL: LA RENCONTRE (“THE MEETING”) Includes interviews with director Anne Fontaine and star Audrey Tautou. THE MAKING OF: COCO BEFORE CHANEL COMMENTARY by Director & Writer Anne Fontaine

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
79 of 82 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Engrossing 7 Feb 2010
I'm giving this a five to make up for all the imbeciles who have criticized a French film for being in French, and the other imbeciles who think it should have had more explosions in it. Actually, I thought it was a four.

I don't know how accurate the details of Coco Chanel's life are as shown, but it conveys the period beautifully. I think the French do historical films very well - partly because of their attention to detail, and partly because they concentrate on showing how things were rather than preaching or disapproving.

Audrey Tatou is in every scene and is rivetting. She plays Chanel as the relaistic and determined person she must have been. The other actors are good too, no wrong notes.

And it's stunningly photographed. Whether it's the inside of the convent, the ballroom in her lover's chateau, or the beach at Deauville, you can't take your eyes off it. For myself, I would have liked to know more about the fabrics and the clothes, but I realise I'm in a minority. I had expected to watch this film once and move on, but now I know I'll watch it again - well written, very well acted and beautifully photographed.
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41 of 44 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Avant 21 Jan 2010
The Guardian stated in its review of Coco Before Chanel that it is dull. I have to disagree with that completely. This is elegant, refined, inspiring and as an added bonus it features the lovely Audrey Tautou.

Chanel as the subject matter of a film is interesting as when you look at the company's many high end products you realise that you know very little if anything about the woman whose name sits so proudly and smartly them. I loved the simplistic approach this movie took to Chanel's life and the novel idea of analysing her before her success. There are so many gross, hysterical films now that are almost pornographic and it is wonderful to come across a film that is controlled and tasteful.

The story begins with a heart breaking scene, Chanel and her sister abandoned by their father. The DVD extras reveal that not all the scenes should be taken at face value and that because Chanel used to exaggerate certain aspects of her life to convey and place emphasis on social problems, the script was written in the same manner. The plot is a journey of hope, expectation, disappointment, despair, love and achievement. The film is structured in such way that it is impossible to not feel anything but admiration for Chanel because of her courage and her intellect.

Character wise the film is aided by a strong supporting cast who all come across as believable. Boy in the film (Nivola) is the most intriguing character after Chanel. The right depth is given to Chanel's character. None of the segments of the film feel rushed and you always believe that Tautou is her.

I can only describe the script as beautiful. A thing of joy. It really is very pleasant.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Stylish 13 Mar 2010
Audrey Tatou portrays Gabrielle 'Coco' Chanel before she became famous for the fashion house which still bears her name. Being a French film it's subtitled which made it all the more authentic and didn't bother myself and my husband at all unlike some other reviewers! It tells Coco's story from when she and her sister are abandoned by their father at a Catholic orphanage as children where she first learns her trade as a seamstress, their subsequent career as caberet artistes and the slow road to her eventually becoming a milliner and ultimately a coturier. In many ways it's fairly slow moving and languid but Tatou's beguiling performance and the stunning scenery more than compensate for that.

Coco's relationships with Etienne Balsan with whom she enjoys the taste of the high life and Arthur 'Boy' Capel are both senstively handled and it's interesting to see the juxtoposition of her sister's relationship with a Baron whom she remains a mistress of for many years. Of course, we should always remember that in France Mistresses enjoyed a certain amount of social status and probably more than their English counterparts.

Although the ending is somewhat rushed, this film remains a stand alone piece. I thought that Tatou's central performance was mesmerising and that she really 'became' Coco Chanel in the process.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classy film 7 Mar 2010
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Judging by the reviews here ,this seems to be a love or hate film. Well I loved it, the small scenes were engrossing & the big scenes sumptious. All the acting hit the right mark for me .My other half loved it too & he didn't even want to watch it, so not a 'ladies film 'as such.I've no problem with subtitles myself but if you have - beware of foreign films !
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great film! 4 Mar 2010
By S. Ball
I'd recommend this film for the photography, the fashion and the French! Romantic and very sophistcated!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Fashion Classic!" 18 Dec 2009
This film is completely not what I expected as It did focus a lot on her life before she was famous, with one iconic moment at the end showing how much of a phenomenon she had become. Even still, I believe that this is most definatly a film to be remembered and if you love fashion then you must see it! Audrey tatou DOES play Coco Chanel (in her own interpretation) brilliantly.

Yes, at some parts this film is rather slow however this represents to me how her life progressed as she didnt get into the indsustry straight away she had to work at it! It is in subtitles for those who dont know however i dont find this too offputting as it gives a more realistic interpretation of Chanel's life.

I dont think this film is for all film fanatics as a love or interest in fashion -I personally think- is required to fully enjoy it. Prehaps if there were more fashion related films I would be more picky with this one however there is something unique and special about 'Coco before Chanel' nethertheless!

The reason I do not give this film 5 stars is that they COULD have made it slightly more fast paced at times and also show more of her clothes in better detail as there is a lot less about the clothes themselves than I had thought prior to watching this film.
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