Colette Movie Review
It’s understandable that writers like writing about other writers. It’s less understandable why they think other people give a damn. Keira Knightley stars in Colette, yet another period film where she gets to wear long dresses, deliver an emotionally restrained performance, and generally bore the vast majority of people who made the questionable decision to sit down and spend two hours with a story about a French writer who had a shitty husband.
Knightley is a very good actress, but at this stage in her career she could, and arguably does, sleepwalk through period films that typically aren’t known for their groundbreaking nature. In Colette, in which Knightley and the rest of the cast keep their British accents despite being about French people (seriously, it took me about 20 minutes to realize they were supposed to be French), Knightley is perfectly fine but, like the movie in which she stars, is generally unremarkable.
Or at least indistinguishable from Keira Knightley in other movies set during similar time periods.
Colette isn’t without its merits, including a slightly more intriguing story than your typical period film. But there is little to sink your teeth into, the movie repeating the feminist clichés that tend to inflict the subgenre—you know, a fiercely independent female protagonist who finds herself stifled by the men around her, the rest of the details fill-in-the-blank-here. Had the movie sought to focus on other aspects of her life, perhaps her actual efforts to gain back the rights to her own work or other successes in life, Colette may have distinguished itself more.
As is, this movie about French people is just another bland drama with British accents and not much else. There are so many fascinating people throughout history—why do we continue to be subjected to movies about writers?
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.