Friday, May 14, 2010


By D.E.Levine

Director: Jan Kounen
Writer: Chris Greenhalgh (screenplay); Chris Greenhalgh (novel); Carlo de Boutiny and Jan Kounen (adaption)
Cast: Anne Mouglalis, Mads Mikkelsen, Yelena Morozova, Natacha Lindinger, Grigori Manukov, Radivoje Bukvic et al.
Producer: Chris Bolzli and Claude Ossard
Co-producer: Veronika Zonabend
Associate Producers: Albina Boeckli, Kazutaka Kimori and Yoichi Sakai
Line Producer: Phillippe Deiest
Original Music: Gabriel Yared
Running Time: 119 Minutes
Country of Origin: France
Language: French, Russian and English with English subtitles
Genre: Drama

This is a very beautiful film that is based on a few months in the lives of two people who went on to become famous individually.

The director filmed in the actual villa where Coco Chanel put Stravinsky and his family up after the Russian Revolution, the chic Chanel atelier in Paris, the laboratory in Grasse where Chanel No. 5 was created, and the Theatre Des Champs- Elysees (where "The Rite of Spring" was a failure).

The sets, scenery and costumes are breathtaking, accurate, exquisite and rich although neither individual comes across as being very appealing.

Coco comes across as a cool, calculating, determined individual who knows exactly what she wants and how to get it.

Igor is a brooding artist exiled from his homeland and almost penniless, with a wife and several children to support. His work is not being well received in France and the family is living in crowded immigrant quarters.

When Coco offers her rented villa in Garches to Igor and his children and tubercular wife, the Stravinskys move into luxurious surroundings in which he can work on his compositions. As these compositions increase in passion, Katrina, Igor's wife becomes aware of the affair between her husband and Coco.

Two such strong wills and egos obsessed with their art are bound to separate, added to which is Stravinsky's devotion to his family.

Nothing in the movie suggests that the affair would have continued or that there were any regrets when it ended. Each individual went on to spectacular success in their own areas and became icons of history.