Art, Artists, Cinema, TV Series - Films

ArtReview: Colette

Colette is a biographical drama directed by Wash Westmoreland and starring Keira Knightley. The film is based on the life of the French novelist, actress, mime and journalist Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette. She is widely known for her novel Gigi (1944). Colette was the subject of several biographies, songs and films.

It is another story about women artists who had their works signed by their husbands (for some reason) and that had to prove their authorship. It is just one more example of something that happened very often.


The film is set at the dawn of the 20th century when the young Colette arrived in Paris. She was a young woman from a country village who had just married a charismatic and dominant Parisian, Henry Gauthier-Villars, better known by the name of “Willy”. He introduced her to the bohemian life-style of Paris, that awaked her creative mind.

As an ambitious man, he convinced her to write novels, but suggested that it should be released under his name, because he was already famous in the city. But the success of the series of novels titled Claudine and written by Colette, made him a well-known writer in the whole country and “Colette and Willy” were among the most important contemporary celebrities.

Over the time, the lack of recognition for her work started to frustrate her. Colette met the Marquise de Belbeuf, “Missy”, with who she established a relationship. Missy encourage her to fight for her freedom, for her work, but that wasn’t an easy process, Willy was determined to maintain the control over his wife.

The film ends when she decided to fight for the authorship of Claudine series and to get her freedom back. It is a very inspiring film, that talks about invisible prisons, socially accepted oppressors and limited freedom for women, but mainly, it is a film about liberation and that inspires to seek FREEDOM. Freedom to express yourself, to be who you really are, to claim your own voice.

Another reason to watch the film, if you need it: Keira is brilliant as Colette!

I highly recommend it!