Ever since the trailer came out, I’ve been dying to see the historical and biographical film Colette. She’s one of the most well-known French women writers, and a queer feminist to boot. How could I not want to see the movie? Unfortunately, it was showing nowhere near Ithaca at the time of its release. Small town woes.
My landlady once again saved my life. Knowing that I’m a Francophile, she invited me to see the very last showing in Ithaca. This afternoon, I left class while the professor was still talking—something I’ve never done before, but technically class had already ended, and I had to catch the bus—and tried my best to walk into the showing unnoticed. There were only seven other people, anyways, so hopefully they weren’t offended by me running past the screen to sit next to my landlady.
I don’t want to spoil anything, but the movie was incredible. Keira Knightley does an impeccable job of portraying a witty, brilliant young Colette who eventually realizes that her husband is holding her back and proceeds to ditch him and embark on a relationship with a masculine-presenting woman. (Please look up Mathilde de Morny, or Missy. She’s fascinating.) In short, the movie is a feminist roller coaster—you find yourself sympathizing for Colette; wanting to yank out her husband Willy’s beard because he was a egotistical, controlling misogynist; cursing the patriarchal society that devalues women; and then mourning the fact that the movie wasn’t longer and you didn’t get to see more of Colette growing into her right as an independent woman.
Also, every single one of Keira Knightley’s outfits in the movie. Can I have them, especially the suit? I want to be well-dressed while I use this movie as added motivation to fuel my feminist anger and continue fighting the patriarchy.
(Pardon the terrible photo, unfortunately there was a light right above the poster and I couldn’t make the reflection go away.)