Movie review – Still a woman of mystery

2010-11-26 13:11

Film: Coco and Igor (UIP)
Director: Jan Kounen
Featuring: Anna Mouglalis, Mads Mikkelsen, Yelena Morozova and Anatole Taubman
Rating: 5/10

What is it about iconic fashionista Coco Chanel that makes it so difficult for her French countrymen to make a compelling film about her?

First there was Coco Avant Chanel with Audrey Tautou as the pint-sized style guru – before she was a style guru. That film, like this one, was beautiful to look at but lacked any real insight into what made her tick.

In Coco and Igor, Anna Mouglalis is a physical match for Chanel and she, like Tautou, is slim enough to be the perfect clothes­­horse for Chanel’s tailored designs.

Throughout this film, Chanel is obsessed with finding the scent that defines the woman she is and the women she designs for. It’s an interesting aside, the genesis of the world’s most classic scent – Chanel No 5. But the film’s focus is the strangely passionless affair Chanel has with revolutionary Russian composer Igor Stravinsky.

The film begins with an overlong reproduction of Stravinsky’s debut of The Rite of Spring – a peculiar ballet set to an arresting score that contributed to him being described as revolutionary.

When the Bolsheviks over-run Russia, Stravinsky and his family flee to Paris and are reliant on the charity of friends. Enter Chanel, who offers the family refuge at her chateau.

But it’s not without consequences – she and Stravinsky start a rather bloodless affair and the only person who shows any passionate response to it is Mrs Stravinsky (Yelena Morozova).

The sex scenes are, like the rest of the film, staged for maximum visual stimulation and as a result are over-choreographed.

This film, about the affair, is based on rumours that they had one. Perhaps this is why the details are so sketchy, though you’d think the filmmakers could have improvised to make the story more compelling. Instead the two leads wander around looking intense, until one day the affair is over – as inexplicably as it began.

The enduring mystique around Chanel endures, and the woman who defined the fashion world at the beginning of the 20th century keeps her secrets.

Coco and Igor suffers the same fate as Coco Avant Chanel – it’s a film that perfectly illustrates the maxim “all style, no substance”.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

Mobile Developer

Cape Town
Goldman Tech Resourcing
R360 000 - R480 000 Per Year

Senior PHP Developer

Cape Town
Mass Staffing Projects
R480 000 - R720 000 Per Year

Sales Representative

Cape Town
Pax Staffing Dynamix (Pty) Ltd
R8 000 - R25 000 Per Month

Property [change area]

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.