"Colette" the Biopic: C'est Excellent!
Colette is another “lady writer” biopic up there for a triple feature with Becoming Jane and Mary Shelley. Based on the true story of French author Colette (Sidonle-Gabrielle Colette), the story begins with her from living out of nowhere writing the book to be published under a man’s name: Willy, her husband’s pen name. Awesome. Nothing says “I love you” like stealing your love’s hard work.
Ranked between all three biopics I mentioned, this falls above Becoming Jane and at about the same goodness as Mary Shelley in storytelling and directing. The set design and costumes are superior to Mary Shelley making up for anything you may find same old, same old about this time period and its storytelling methods in Hollywood.
Of Keira Knightley period pieces, this ranks her best outside Pirates of the Caribbean, if one could call Pirates period pieces at all away from the costuming choices. Ms. Knightley is our girl Hollywood calls on for costume dramas. Why? When? “Typecast” in the dictionary has her photo beside it. She does it well here.
Colette serves as a great introduction to people who, like me, if you aren’t an English major, know little about the real woman’s life. I see books and don’t delve into who the person was. When I learn the who, the art becomes real to me. Relatable. Painful. Tragic. Happy.
The best scene in the whole movie to me is the Egyptian stage act at the Moulin Rouge. The artistry going into that…oh my! Watch this movie if you will and enjoy your rental, friends.