Dir: Wash Westmoreland. Starring: Keira Knightley, Dominic West, Eleanor Tomlinson, Fiona Shaw, Aiysha Hart, Denise Gough. 15 CC, 112 min
The Claudine novels, the bad accounts of a young provincial girl blooming in the metropolis, were toasted in Paris in 1900, and were often read by the women of the day who took their liberation with vicariously to the heart. Colette, the intricately-woven, Keira-Knightley star's biopic of the author, brings her accomplishments to light by first showing them trampled on for years.
Although they were considered autobiographical now, the books were not attributed to Colette himself, but to her first husband, the rogue literary entrepreneur Henry Gauthier-Villars, better known as "Willy". At its worst, as illustrated by caddish gusto by Dominic West, Willy would lock Colette in an upstairs room and force her to write while pursuing affairs across the city.
She was a prisoner of her sweatshop approach to literary production, one of many ghostwriters he exploited to stop the Willy mark. "You're one of his ghosts already," pointing someone out shortly after he swept this restless maid away from the spiral and into the artistic fermentation of Belle Époque.
For all her meticulous embroidery around a very uniform life, Colette currently speaks quite tartly, not only for the Romanists' struggle to throw off these patriarchal chess, but her means to do it – expressions that included acting and dancing, and lesbian issues Flaunted to establish their independence, overlapping in one case with a woman's Willy, was also romancing.