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The other Mads Mikkelsen film (in the trailer, he’s the one telling Perseus that he’s not merely a man).  Clearly the first one is better, but I digress.

In fact, I can write this review in less than a hundred words (including the first paragraph).  It’s what you expect.  Exactly (well, just about) the same at the original, now with updated special effects.  Special effects are decent, though somewhat sketchy at times (scorpions and Medusa aren’t good).  Some blathering about choosing your own destiny, you know how that goes.

Rent. Glad I didn’t see it in 3-D.

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Ugh, I’ve fallen behind.  I saw this almost two weeks ago now?

Let’s review: Anna Mouglalis is astonishing as Coco Chanel.  She has the movement, the voice (she responds to a question of her singing “I sound like a crow”), the allure.  Mads Mikkelsen (who so happens to  be in the next movie I’m reviewing as well) is quite good as Igor Stravinsky, though at times it’s hard to read his face (especially when half the movie has front face shots of its characters).  He’s explosive when appropriate, and subtle when the scenes require it.  Not bad.

The movie, after an explosive opening (the first quarter of the film is dedicated to the disastrous opening of The Rite of Spring), falls into a slow, languishing tempo as it explores the affair between Coco and Igor.  Like I said, many of the shots are centered on the face, which offers a curious perspective when each character sees something or reacts to something.  There are times when it seems like though that the makers of the film had to do something to keep interest.  For example, Igor’s wife recites a letter she wrote to Coco as she departs the villa with her children.  It’s unique and quite impressive, but by that point in the film, everything is dragging along.

The film covers a lot of ground: the opening scene takes place in 1913; Coco and Igor meet at a party in 1920; then remainder of the film (save for the concluding scene) is spent in Coco’s villa somewhere in France, close to where she has her shop.  Igor’s trying to write a new piece, while Coco is trying to develop a line of perfume.  The affair brings out the best in them (Chanel No. 5 was born out of this, while… actually, it’s hard to tell what exactly the piece Stravinsky composes here, but it might be Pulcinella, either way, it was at this period that Stravinsky launched into his neoclassical era), but almost tears apart his family.

The subjects are captivating and are worthy of further investigation.  In terms of Coco Chanel, I didn’t see the biopic of her from last year, Coco Before Chanel, but I will take a look at that at some point.  As for Stravinsky, I happened to stumble across an old book in Reading Terminal Market yesterday.  It so happens that it covered the majority of his musical career.  I’ll take a look online and listen whenever I can.

This is a good place to start.  It’s not perfect by any means, but the main performances and the filming style gives this film a different look from other films.

B