Coco Chanel & Igor
by Tony Medley
Run time 115 minutes.
Not for children. There was
never a horse that couldnít be rode and never a man who couldnít be
throwed. No matter how right you think you are about something, it seems
like something comes along to prove you wrong. I didnít think Iíd soon
see a slower movie than last yearís The Last Station, also about
the putrid way a Russian artist (Leo Tolstoy) treated his loving wife,
but this latest movie about Igor Stravinsky and Coco Chanel proved that
This is the story about
Russian composer Stravinsky (Mads Mikkelsen) getting it on with French
designer Coco Chanel (Anna Mouglalis) while Stravinskyís family,
including his ill wife, Catherine (Elena Morozova) were living with Coco
at her country estate. According to this film, Coco seduced Igor. But,
who cares? Igor liked it and pursued her.
This movie is so slow it
goes into the mundane things of everyday life in early 20th-Century
France. Like when the Stravinskyís move in, we see them unpacking and
putting things in drawers, and we see the table being set and we see the
children swinging in the swings. On and on and on. And, boy, do we see
lots of faces thinking. Frankly, Iím not sure that Mikkelsen has much of
a voice because in just about everything Iíve seen of him (like 2008ís
Flame & Citron) he does a lot of thinking, and not much talking.
The most interesting thing
about the film isnít the illicit romance, itís the treatment of the
premiŤre of The Rite of Spring on May 29, 1913 at the Thť‚tre des
Champs-…lysťes in Paris under the Ballets Russes with the dancers
choreographed by Vaslav Nijinsky. Director Jan
Kounen recreates the riot that arose as a result of the complex
music and violent dance steps depicting fertility rites and the violent
dispute between Stravinsky and Nijinsky. Kounen says it was the most
complex scene heís ever had to shoot because he had only three days in
the theater and four in the studio.
There only other good
things about the movie, other than the nude lovemaking scenes which
really arenít that erotic, are the loving recreation of the period and
the performance of Morozova, none of which would be worth the price of
admission for me.