A Chanel Travesty
19 August 2008, 12:56PM
Coco Chanel, photographed by Cecil Beaton
A NEW made-for-television film, Coco Chanel - which claims to be "freely inspired by the truth" - has been savaged by critics for its lack of structure, factual inaccuracies and "wooden" acting.
The film - currently airing on the US network Lifetime - is set in two parts; Shirley McLaine plays the "older" Chanel to Barbara Bobulova's younger incarnation, with the two apparently bearing "no resemblance to one another other than they both like a well-cut suit".
"The first part quickly jumps to Chanel and her lovers (played by Oliver Sitruk and Sagamore Stevenin), who are all as wooden as a dressmaker's dummies," writes New York Times TV critic Linda Stasi. "The only thing that saves them are their thick accents, which makes you think maybe something got lost in translation. Clearly the filmmakers are striving for La Vie En Rose, but end up with La Vie En Dull."
Here's hoping the upcoming big screen biopic of Coco Chanel's early life, Coco Avent Chanel, starring Audrey Tatou and Alessandro Nivola, fares a little better.
Chanel film panned by critics (Vogue.com UK)