LFF Film Review: Colette (2018)

– The feminist film this world needs

Director, Wash Westmoreland (Still Alice), co-wrote with Rebecca Lenkiewicz and his spouse, Richard Glatzer (Still Alice), and cooperated with Killer Films’ producer, Christine Vachon, once more. Based on the true story about the French novelist, Colette, it begins from the marriage with Willy in 1893 into the early 20th-century journey of writing and establishing her own name.

There are three distinct characteristics in the story:

Willy, the publisher with a big name in Paris, loves his vanity even from the first scene when he talks about theatre with Colette’s parents. He is pursuing fame and glamour all his life—the typical man with pride.

Claudine, the character who represents the woman at the time, is a well-behaved and submissive school girl—the woman in a man’s eyes. She is created from the memory of a standard family, which embodies the norms of how a female should conduct.

Colette, who is witty and funny, takes control of making her own decisions and ultimately realizes she has been strong enough to break through the patriarchy—the modern, independent woman. Either the agreement of writing books for her husband or the divorce is her own commitment. Even though the society has been teaching how a woman should act, she dares to question and challenge them like when she kisses Missy on the stage.

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You can tell that movies from the past few years are changing the female archetype. Women in films are growing more self-assured. Keira Knightley is sensational playing either a young and innocent girl who devotes herself to supporting her spouse, or a witty woman who braves through the male gaze to write and act under her own name. It is satisfying to see her having a fierce voice and a chance to educate viewers on the big screens.

This is a feminist film that this world needs. Like the scene that they see Missy for the first time, ‘There’s no word to describe her.’ Colette said, that is why everyone should be a feminist; everyone should have a conversation about it until it becomes the new norms.

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