June is Pride month, so my best friend, her girlfriend and I will be watching LGBTQIA+ period films!
Our first film was Colette.
Keira Knightley plays the iconic French writer, actress, journalist, and overall legend Sidonie Gabrielle Colette, the woman behind Gigi, Chéri, and the Claudine books.
Now, you can only love or hate Knightley in period films, I personally love her, but I understand the opinion that some period costumes look more spectacular on fuller women (like Scarlett Johansson in Girl With A Pearl Earring or The Other Boleyn Girl), but I think Keira looks as beautiful as always, and this is a reminder that in this blog we do not have opinions about people's bodies.
What is the film about? Gabrielle is a country girl that marries a Parisian writer (Willy) and eventually discovers that she's quite a writer. She starts writing novels for him and they kind-of work as a team, but he's pretty much shit and has other female lovers, and then so does she, but both of them are ok with that (such a very modern couple XD). Until he ruins it and she leaves him to start her life with her new love Missy, and a new career on the stage.
Where and when is it set? Late 19th century and early 20th century France.
Is it based in real life? Yes. You all should read about Colette because this eccentric woman did everything and had quite a life. You can read a little bit more about the real people pictured in the film here. Now, a few photos of her, Willy, Missy, and her dog Toby Chien (the best boy):
My favourite bit? Definitely the relationship between Colette and herself, learning what she wants, what she likes, and who she is. Along with that, we re shown the different kinds of love that she has for her partners. Also: the Claudine look with the curly bob hair. ✨ perfection ✨
What about the costumes? I LOVE the costumes in this film, and I think they are quite an inspiration for anyone in love with Edwardian/belle epoque fashion: from the "simple" dresses she wears in the countryside, to the shirtwaist and skirt combos, the suits with masculine nods, THE actual masculine suit, and of course the LEGENDARY Claudine schoolgirl black dress. For a more feminine aesthetic we have the costumes worn by Eleanor Tomlinson as Georgie, and on the other extreme we have Denisse Gough as Missy for inspiration for the masc presenting.
Final Thoughts: All characters left the three of us with something to think about: Colette made us want to enjoy what we like and whaat we wanna do (wanna go turn into a dancer? go do it! You go Glen Coco!), Willy reminds us of toxic masculinity and how it just sucks, and Missy made us think about who we are comfortable with and to be on the outside who we are in the inside.
Fun Fact: There are two trans actors in this film in roles that are not trans. Jake Graf plays playwright Gaston de Caillavet, and Rebecca Root plays Rachilde. You can read a little bit about both of them here.
Director: Wash Westmoreland
Main Cast: Keira Knightley, Dominic West, Denise Gough, Eleanor Tomlinson.
Cinematography: Giles Nuttgens
Art Direction: Renátó Cseh
Costume Design: Andrea Flesch
So, what other queer period films do you think we should watch? We might watch next El Baile de los 41, or Portrait de la Jeune Fille en Feu.