Becoming Colette (1991)
Although it signs off with a memorably grotty song ('the greener fields
were laughter and tears, as days and nights turned into years'), this
pretty period piece is mainly an effective mini biopic of the French
literary lioness, concentrating on her early years as the naive country
girl (Mathilda May) marries turn of the century swinger Klaus Maria
Brandauer and is introduced into the social whirl of Gay Paree and also
the 15 certificate delights of diiscreet bisexual promiscuity, and climaxing
with Brandauer's admission that the successful book he was about to
claim responsibility for was actually written by his soon to be ex.
May looks fetching in and (briefly) out of costumes and Brandauer turns
on some of his wattage as the caddish hubby, while Virginia Madsen,
the queen of direct to video movies, swans through as a supporting sweetheart.
Directed by Danny Huston, son of John, who previously handled Mr North
and would seem to be well advised to try something without starched
collars next time out if he doesn't want to be typecast as a specialist
in historical literary footnotes.
First Published In: Empire (issue unknown)
All text on this page © Kim Newman