Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky: movie review

The affair between the iconic French designer and Russian composer is long and drawn out in this pedestrian biopic, ‘Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky.’

The brief 1920s romance between the great French designer Coco Chanel (Anna Mouglalis) and the great composer Igor Stravinsky (Mads Mikkelsen) has resulted in a movie as pedestrian as its title, “Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky.” Couldn’t the filmmakers at least have called it something like “The Rite of Coco and Igor”?

Dutch-born director and co-writer Jan Kounen makes the typical biopic mistake of drawing a one-to-one correspondence between the lives of artists and their art. In the case of Chanel, she at least gets to parade around in Chanel outfits, but poor married Stravinsky is always getting all hepped up about his infidelity and then lurching to the piano to compose a bit more “Firebird.” The well-staged opening sequence, which depicts the riot at the 1913 Paris première of “Le Sacre du Printemps,” is, alas, the film’s high point.

I wonder, by the way, how Stravinsky, who bore a slight resemblance to Xavier Cugat, would have reacted to his incarnation by a hyperhandsome actor sleek enough to have once played a Bond villain?

He would probably have applauded. Grade: C (Rated R for some strong sexuality and nudity.)


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