‘Colette‘is a biopic of the director Wash Westmoreland (‘Always Alice’) about the transgressive and avant-garde Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette. The first woman to enter the Goncourt Academy, of which she was president until her death. The only French writer to receive a state funeral. The creator of the model of the modern adolescent. The one who publicly wore pants to express her desire to be free and to dress as she wanted.
The film focuses on the time when Colette (Run Knightley) had a long relationship with the writer Henry Gauthier-Villars (Dominic West), better known as Willy. Raised in a rural setting, Colette was introduced by Willy shortly after they were married in bohemian Paris in the early 20th century. You should write down your memories of elementary school. Count spicy details. We are short of funds. With this forcefulness he convinced his wife to write his first book Clàudine at school. After the wild success, Willy insisted that he rewrite a second installment. And then a third. And then a fourth. He even locked her in a room when she didn’t want to write anymore. Colette became an exploited woman and a ghostwriter for many years, in which her husband was listed as the author of all her works.
As he climbed onto the tables with a cigar, waved his glass, rejoicing in fame and courting any lady in the salons he frequented, she was reaffirming and reinforcing her identity. He was finding his own personal freedom. He began to write for her, for pleasure, and already signed with her name, although also accompanied by his: Colette Willy. He received drama classes and premiered some plays with Sophie-Mathilde-Adèle de Morny, Missy, with whom he began a relationship that would last for years and which elicited more than one comment. She cut off her long braid and left her hair long boy. Colette never left indifferent. Colette caused, on more than one occasion, the scandal.
The marriage ended up separating in 1906. Willy sold all the rights to Claudine to the publishers of Ollendorff and left Colette without monetary recognition for her authorship. From then on, she started a new literary and journalistic career and began to use her name autonomously and independently. Colette went on to write dozens of volumes of provocative fiction, memoirs, journalism, and dramaturgy that revolutionized Parisian society at the time. He achieved international fame thanks to the novel Tooth which was made into a movie in 1958 by Vicente Minnelli.
‘Colette‘is a film that imbues us with the vindictive and revolutionary tone that characterized the novelist. It is a film that despite being shot in Budapest, transports us to an authentic Parisian atmosphere of the early twentieth century, in which Keyra Knightley, Dominic West and the rest of the cast captivate from the first moment. It is a film that stands out with a wonderful solid script written in six hands by Rebecca Lenkiewicz, Richard Glatzer (to whom the film is dedicated, as he died during production) and Wash Westmoreland. It is a film that if it does not last in our memory, at least it will have remembered for a time the passionate life of the freest woman in France.