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Drama - Historic

Colette (2018)

Duration1h 51m
RatingsUK: 15, USA: R, Denmark: 7 
Source of storyAn original screenplay based on the very public life and novels of Colette
DirectorWash Westmoreland
Writers/ScriptWash Westmoreland, Richard Glatzer, Rebecca Lenkiewicz
StarringKeira Knightley, Fiona Shaw, Dominic West, Robert Pugh, Arabella Weir, Eleanor Tomlinson, Denise Gough,
RatingsIMDb: 6.7 by 20,667 people.  Rotten Tomatoes: 87% by 187 reviewers.

Elevator Pitch: In turn of the century Paris Willy is  a successful writer, but actually a man who pays others to do the writing. My chance he finds that his young wife Colette can put together charming memoirs, and these are published in his name. The first and those which follow are best sellers, and Colette keeps up doing the work, while dallying with other women, with the agreement of her husband. Willy is a spendthrift, which Colette tolerates until he sells the rights to the books. Thereafter she leaves him  and forms a relationship with another woman, continuing to write, and performing on stage in somewhat risquĂ© shows, not always successfully.

Content: There are a number of sexual events, mostly more or less clothed with a lot of panting and moaning, but in one case between two women with some nudity. Also one wardrobe malfunction on stage.  We meet Colette and her family in rural France and then when Willy and she are married the excitement of Paris. Willy is bombastic, often putting off payment to his ghost writers, Colette scribes away with a dip pen, filling the pages of exercise books. Later her lesbian relationships take centre stage. At one point Willy forms a chorus line on a table.

A View: The written promotion for this film made it seem more interesting than it actually was. Even though it was well liked by the critics it almost certainly lost money with a world wide gross of $11.7 million. What could have been wrong? The Paris scenery was great, and the actors did well with what they were given. It seems to me that what Colette was famous for in her life was her extrovert personality so her lesbian activities featured big time in the film. Her relationship with Willy was equally interesting but given second place. So probably a watch if you take that into account.

Additional Info: Although at the time of the film homosexual relationships were legal, it was illegal for women to wear trousers.

About Victor R Gibson

Author of this site three technical books and two novels

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