Coco Chanel and Igor Stravinsky
Coco Chanel and Igor Stravinsky – Movie Review
Paris 1913. Coco Chanel is infatuated with the rich and handsome Boy Capel, but she is also compelled by her work. Igor Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring is about to be performed. The revolutionary dissonances of Igor’s work parallel Coco’s radical ideas. She wants to democratize women’s fashion; he wants to redefine musical taste. Coco attends the scandalous first performance of The Rite in a chic white dress. The music and ballet are criticized as too modern, too foreign. Coco is moved but Igor is inconsolable. Paris 1920, Coco is newly wealthy and successful but grief-stricken after Boy’s death in a car crash. Igor, following the Russian Revolution is now a penniless refugee living in exile in Paris. Coco is introduced to Igor by Diaghilev, impresario of the Ballets Russes. The attraction between them is instant and electric. Coco invites Igor along with his wife – now sick with consumption – together with his four children and a menagerie of birds to stay at her new villa, Bel Respiro, .in Garches
Coco and Igor is a beautiful movie with two beautiful leads. Apparently it’s based on a true story, or at least an apocryphal story, involving Coco Chanel having an affair with Igor Stravinsky. At the time in the 1920’s, Coco was viewed as one of the most powerful women in the world. She already owned her dress shop and was just about to launch Chanel No. 5. Igor Stravinsky, was somewhat of a famous expatriot who composed for the ‘Ballet Russe’ and ‘Diaghelev’. At the time though, he wasn’t yet the toast of Paris because his ‘Rite of Spring’ was viewed as anathema when it was first introduced. The movie actually starts with that scene, with the Paris Opera being infuriated with the ‘Rite of Spring’. We see Coco in the audience, sitting by herself, incidentally, and being somewhat amused by it. They meet again about three years later when she is in mourning because her famous lover, Boy, has been killed in a car accident.. She invites Igor and his wife and four children to come to her country estate to live, because Igor has already at this moment, he is impecunious, and has no money. So they come out and launch a love affair, much to the chagrin of Madame Stravinsky. The movie is truly beautiful, we have two beautiful leads in Mads Mikkelsen, who was the bad guy in Casino Royale, and Anna Mouglalis. Both of them have smoldering looks, great cheek bones, and they look great naked which is good because we see a lot of them naked. The clothes and the furniture and the linens, and the food all look terrific in this one, but man, it’s like watching paint dry, beautiful paint, fabulous paint, but paint nonetheless. So we walk away thinking these were two very sexy inspired people but who cares. It’s a two hour that probably would’ve been much better with at least a half hour taken out of it, so I’ll give it two and a half stars.