Although the name Chanel is known all over the world, it’s surprising how few people actually know anything about mademoiselle Chanel herself or, indeed, that there even was a mademoiselle.
Recently, a spate of movies about Coco Chanel have been released chronicling the various periods in the life of the famous designer. This recent offering, “Coco Chanel and Igor Stravinsky,” focuses on her tumultuous love affair with the genius composer. If you’re an admirer of Stravinsky’s “Rite of Spring,” you won’t be disappointed.
The clip features no dialogue, but concentrates instead on showing us pivotal moments in their love affair, with Stravinsky’s lush score used as a backdrop. Although the music is powerfully moving, it’s not enough to keep the viewer engaged and paradoxically reinforces the overall languid pace and glacial tone of the film.
There is beauty to be found in the images and the aesthetic, formal composition of the film, with its exquisite attention to period details, is sure to catch the eyes of fashion aficionados but the movie does not resonate and the two leads appear wooden and stiff — which, for a movie about passion, is a serious impediment.
I add another not so simple problem. Mads Mikkelsen, who plays Stravinsky, was such an indelible presence as Le Chiffre in the James Bond movie “Casino Royale” that echoes of that movie kept resurfacing in my head at the most inopportune of moments.
My overall impression could be summarized thus: A stylistically elegant film looking for its heart and perhaps not finding it.
. . .
Follow Josiane Ochman on Twitter at http://twitter.com/PiloteXYZ.