What if you are a gifted author whose stories are beloved by their readers? You can make a living out of it – but only if you are a man. That’s the problem Gabrielle Colette (Keira Knightley) faces after she has moved with her husband Henry Gauthier-Villars (Dominic West) from rural France to Paris. Here they live a bohemian life at the dawn of the 20th century. While her husband tries to write articles for various magazines with the help of ghost writers, he discovers Colette’s talent and convinces her to write novels. The first one is published under his name – Willy – and becomes a huge success with an audience demanding for more. Henry, keen to earn more money by selling more “Claudine” novels, forces Colette to continue writing under his name while they both enjoy a celebrity’s couple’s life including parties and different sexual relationships.

“My name is Claudine, I live in Montigny; I was born there in 1884; I shall probably not die there.”

But as time goes by, a frustrated Colette doesn’t want to hide her authorship anymore, she wants to be more than only her husband’s wife – questioning the norms of society.

“Colette” is a beautifully made film where every single detail of the set is chosen very carefully. Keira Knightley fits perfectly in this set and in the corsets, skirts and dresses while being witty, funny, angry and all in all a joy to watch. In 2014 she was Benedict Cumberbatch‘s Alan Turing‘s fiancée and life long friend Joan Clarke in “The Imitation Game” which earned her (and Benedict) an Oscar nomination. In this film Keira is on top of her performance abilities, portraying Colette from a shy girl to a strong woman ready to walk her way in a society dominated by men. One of the shiny 2019 Oscars could carry Keira’s name.
★★★★★