Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

LOOKING GOOD IS ONE THING ... the Story of a Glamorous Affair Is Gorgeously Shot and Gracefully Told -- All It Wants Is More Drama

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

LOOKING GOOD IS ONE THING ... the Story of a Glamorous Affair Is Gorgeously Shot and Gracefully Told -- All It Wants Is More Drama

Article excerpt

Byline: Derek Malcolm

COCO CHANEL AND IGOR STRAVINSKY Cert 15, 118 mins ***

WHAT happens when two geniuses fall for each other? Fireworks? Not in this film about Coco Chanel and Stravinsky, whose affair was said to have blazed briefly in the aftermath of the furore caused by the first performance of The Rite of Spring in Paris in 1913.

This is because Jan Kouten, the Dutch director working this time in French, is too concerned with good taste rather than daring. It all looks a treat but Anna Mouglalis and Mads Mikkelsen, his two leading actors, have a job getting past the decor, costumes and mise-en-scene.

The film opens very well with The Rite of Spring premiere, with Stravinsky sitting tight-lipped in the front row as the cast struggle with Nijinsky's slightly weird choreography and the orchestra trying to make themselves heard in the softer bits of the score above the baying of the haute bourgeois audience, more used to Tchaikovsky's gentler ballets.

Thereafter it gets quieter and quieter, relying on a certain kind of cinematic sensitivity that's admirable enough but which also has the effect of denying true drama. …

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