They had me at breaking taboos

What’s it about?

Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette (Keira Knightley) strides through the Belle Époque breaking cultural taboos in a series of jaunty hats.

What did we think?

Amy Currie says: this historical drama is based on some A-grade source material. Colette’s scandalous Claudine stories sparked an early version of the smash hit mega franchises we know today, complete with merchandise, cross-platform promotion and obsessive fans – but, for many years, her husband took the credit for their success. It’s to the film’s credit that Knightley isn’t simply a downtrodden victim, and her husband Willy (Dominic West) isn’t simply a manipulative baddie, and it’s refreshing to see a matter-of-fact, sex-positive period drama. Despite this, the story drags towards the end and could have benefited from some enthusiastic editing. Sure, it’s based on real events, but as Colette herself says: ‘The hand that holds the pen writes history.’

lots of hats

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