DVD: ‘Coco Chanel’

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Cleverly cashing in on the success of Anne Fontaine’ Coco Avant Chanel (currently screening in cinemas), little known tele movie biopic, Coco Chanel, directed by Christian Duguay and starring Shirley MacLaine, is being released on DVD. As with Fontaine’s film, it is unlikely that this film will appeal to all. However, it is likely that this film will appeal to even fewer. Despite achieving a DVD release, which is more than most tele movies accomplish, the film has corny lines (read, “a woman wearing the wrong perfume has no future”) and predictable plot developments commonly found in television movies. Despite Shirley Maclaine receiving a Golden Globe nomination for her role she has only a minor part in the film. Instead the story is mostly told from the point of view of the young Chanel before she starts the iconic fashion house. Slovak actress Barbora Bobulova as the young Coco Chanel does a good job at portraying a woman of great determination and spirit. Fortunately for the biopic fashion enthusiasts will over look the film’s downfalls and appreciate discovering the story behind the origin of Chanel classics such as the boater hat, tailored pants and of course the little black dress.