Colette 15


Please note: This was screened in Jan 2019

Wash Westmoreland
Keira Knightley, Eleanor Tomlinson, Dominic West
112 mins, 2018, UK | USA
Primary language:

Forget what you know about costume dramas - Keira Knightley stars as the gender-bending, boundary-pushing, fearless French writer Colette (best known for Gigi) - in this wild and passionate biopic.

Colette is a country girl who, after marrying famed writer Willy (Dominic West), leaves her life in rural France for the artistic splendour of Belle Epoque Paris. She attempts to settle into the role of wife – until Willy runs out of money, and convinces her to ghost write a novel for him. Inspired by events in her own life, Colette produces Claudine: a tale of femininity and strength that liberates the women of Paris and quickly becomes a best-seller. Empowered by the success, Colette demands creative ownership of the books, leading to a dispute that drives her to break the rules of sexuality and gender and revolutionises literature, fashion, and sexual expression forever...

Knightley and West are electric as Colette and Willy, and the playful script and ground-breaking cast (several cis-gender characters are played by transgender actors, all too rare for a period film - or any film for that matter) makes this much more than your traditional period drama – it’s a fierce tale of a woman’s lust for life and, much like Colette herself, doesn’t shy away from breaking the rules.

Download Programme Notes (PDF)