- 2 hr 19 min
Coco Chanel is a biographical film about the fashion icon that was written by Ron Hutchinson, Lea Tafuri and Enrico Medioli. Directed by Christian Duguay, the movie was broadcast in the U.S. by the Lifetime cable television network. The film stars Oscar winner Shirley MacLaine as the French fashion pioneer at age 70. Also featured in the film are acclaimed actors Malcolm McDowell and Barbora Bobulova. The story begins at a low point in Ms. Chanel's career after a difficult 1954 comeback show. Steeped in fame and wealth, her collection manages to thrive and is sought after by both famous and average people alike. Her household name had also inspired betrayals by conspiring and competitive enemies. The film continues to recount her life through a series of flashbacks detailing her rise as one of the most beloved and worldwide fashion icons of the century. For example, the story of her humble childhood as Gabrielle, living in abject poverty at a French orphanage. Also covered is her tragic, yet passionate love affair with a polo-playing Englishman, Etienne Balsan. Young Coco is able to shed her staid Edwardian image while enjoying the French countryside estate. Against convention at the time, she wears a pair of groomsman’s trousers to go riding in. This marks one of many fashion revolutions that she was responsible for. Along the way, viewers can discover how this glamorous woman became steely about her career to the point of obsession. As she liberated dress for women, she was able to loosen the restrictive lines and offer unheard of fare such as sailor shirts that were inspired by beachwear. Paul Poiret, a contemporary couturier doing front line work, contributed to relieving women of the dreaded corset, helping to provide the many freeing tunic and pataloon shapes. Coco and Poiret also collaborated to develop what has become known as a signature silhouette - the boucle suit. Shirley MacLaine was nominated for Emmy, Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild awards for her extraordinary portrayal of the fashion luminary whose influence has remained revered throughout all time.