— by VANNA LAND —
“Coco Before Chanel” is as the title suggests — the story of Gabrielle (Coco) Chanel’s rise from humble beginnings living in an orphanage to becoming an icon in the world of fashion.
Coco’s nickname came from a popular song of the time that she sang nightly as she worked with her sister in a cabaret — by day she worked as a seamstress. She entered French society after a liaison with a Baron Balsan who also gave her an opportunity to use her gift of designing increasingly popular hats.
An English businessman named Author Capel — with whom she fell in love — provided new opportunities and new complications as well.
The movie, which focuses on Coco’s formative years, was directed by Anne Fontaine and based on the book by Edmonde Charles-Roux and Anne Fontaine.
The cast includes Audrey Tautou (of “The Da Vinci Code”) in the title role, Benoit Poelvoorde as the Baron and Alessandro Nivola as the English businessman.
There are already rumblings of an “Oscar” nomination for Tautou’s performance as France’s famous mademoiselle.
The movie is filled with fashion, but since the story is “the early years,” it is the story that takes center stage.
The movie, which is in French with subtitles, began a limited release Sept. 25.