Special to The Morning Star
Based on a true story and impeccably written by Wash Westmoreland and Richard Glatzer (Still Alice) and directed by Wash Westmoreland, Colette is being shown at the Vernon Towne Theatre by the Okanagan Screen Arts Society on Dec. 17.
Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette (Keira Knightley) marries a successful Parisian writer Willy (Dominic West) and moves from her childhood home in rural France to the artistic splendor of the big city of Paris. After Willy convinces Colette to ghostwrite for him, she writes a novel about a witty and brazen country girl named Claudine. This book becomes an instant bestseller and a cultural sensation, especially with young women. After its huge success, Colette and Willy become the talk of Paris and their adventures inspire additional Claudine novels. Colette is pushed hard by her husband to write more novels under his name, but Colette is reluctant to do so. Colette’s fight to preserve her creative ownership and take credit for her literary success drives her to overcome society constraints on gender roles where it was even illegal for women to wear men’s clothing during that time period in France. This fight revolutionizes literature, fashion and sexual expression.
This movie transcends the message of female emancipation to deliver an actual and gracious account of Colette’s life. The film is visually fabulous with all the ingredients including the beauty of Knightley, the accurate reproduction of historical detail, the balanced photographic skill using vivid interiors and long takes to draw out the utmost from the actors, scenes and performances. The screenplay plays out smoothly, with Knightley finding and maintaining the essence of her character, developing Colette from ingénue, to young wife, to a frustrated intellectual artist, to finding sexual and professional adventure, and then finally to reaching her own powerful maturity.
This movie will appeal to a wide audience and gives very fine entertainment value, while still delivering the key historical facts and illustrating eloquently the obstacles faced by a brilliant woman writer living in a man’s world.
Showtimes are 5:15 and 7:45 p.m. Pre-show intro by resident filmmaker Matt McDowell, presenting his local production Freezer Burn.
Enjoy live music in the lobby before the early show courtesy of Les Copeland. Advance tickets available at the Towne Cinema box office and Expressions of Time bookstore.
Don’t forget to bring a non-perishable food donation for the Salvation Army food bank Monday. With your donation you will be entered into a draw to win a fabulous gift basket.