Monday, August 16, 2010

Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinski - *1/2

The first twenty minutes of Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinski shows the preparation, performance, and reception of a ballet premiere in early 20th century Paris. It's a great sequence that ends with the audience booing and laughing at the show. The rest of the film kind of feels like that ballet... It's not boring so much as it is just not very interesting to watch, settling into the cinematic equivalent of the aimless running and jumping of a bad ballet performance. It's the story of an affair between the title characters, and that's about it. They kiss and make small talk, have some sex, he gives her a piano lesson, and she fixes a missing button on his vest. It's not thrilling or erotic or exciting in any way. There are some decent performances by the leads, one of which is the magnificent Mads Mikkelsen, but they cannot hide the fact the film really has nothing much going on. We see Coco design some clothes and create a perfume, and Stravinski writes some music, but the film doesn't show how these events relate to their affair, nor does it establish why their relationship even matters at all. Aside from some fancy clothes and retro cars it's all rather drab. But maybe period pieces just don't really do it for me.

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