June 15, 2021 #1 Local News, Forum, Information and Event Source for Venice Beach, California.

“Colette”: Literature Icon on the Big Screen

Rated R
111 Minutes
Released September 21

My grandmother had a collection of Colette’s books, which I used to read with a flashlight at night when everyone thought I was asleep. Colette is an icon of literature whose accomplishments deserve a film. She was born in the Burgundy countryside in France in 1873 and was educated in public schools. Her mother taught her the importance of careful observation. Her first husband, Willy, introduced her to the avant-garde literary circles in Paris during the Belle Epoque period at the end of the 19th Century and early 20th Century. Colette said that she would never have become a writer had it not been for Willy. However he published her work under his name and gave her no access to the profits of her books. Colette divorced Willy and subsequently reinvented herself many times throughout her life. It would seem that the one constant in her life was her writing. In 1944 she published perhaps her most famous work, the novel “Gigi.” After Colette’s death in 1954 in Paris, she was given a state funeral, the first French female author to receive that honor.

The relationships we choose and how they affect our lives is a key element of this movie. Colette collected new relationships all her life. Willy, a writer himself, was her muse. Colette brought the talent and he provided the incentive for her to develop her style. The filmmakers present the complexity of this bond.

Knightley was the perfect choice to portray the essence that drove Colette and her constant struggle between self-doubt and the will to succeed and create. Colette was not challenging society – she just didn’t care what people thought. She was above any concept of how she appeared to others. It is interesting that when “Gigi” was adapted for the stage in 1951, Colette personally chose then-unknown Audrey Hepburn to play the title role. Knightley has been compared to Hepburn in style and personality.

Dominic West is the unsung hero of the film as “Willy,” Colette’s husband and partner for a good part of her early life. West is one of those actors capable of playing anyone or anything realistically. He simply disappears into the role. You may have seen him in strikingly different roles such as “Noah” in The Affair or “Ernest Hemingway” in Genius.

Wash Westmoreland directed this movie from the heart. The life in Paris at the end of the 1800’s is beautifully recreated. To his credit, Colette’s relationships in the film seem effortlessly natural as she evolves and grows more complex as a person and artist. Bisexuality and homosexuality were not unusual during the 1800’s or early 1900’s. However, at that time they had to be discreetly hidden, as they were often illegal. Here Colette’s affairs are not presented as scandalous or groundbreaking, but rather as the natural interactions of a person who refuses to be defined by rules set by society.

Kathryn Whitney Boole has spent most of her life in the entertainment industry, which has been the backdrop for remarkable adventures with extraordinary people.  She is a Talent Manager with Studio Talent Group in Santa Monica. kboole@gmail.com

Related Posts

Sheriff Villanueva’s Plan to Clear Boardwalk Encampments Divides Venice Organizations

June 15, 2021

June 15, 2021

Plan to clear Boardwalk by Fourth of July met with applause, condemnation By Sam Catanzaro Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex...

Edify TV: Westside Vandalism Suspect Arrested

June 14, 2021

June 14, 2021

A man has been arrested in connection with a series of Westside vandalisms in West L.A., including at a local...

Homeless Man Arrested On Boardwalk After Assault on Senior Street Performer: YO! Venice Show – June 14, 2021

June 14, 2021

June 14, 2021

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * Homeless Man Arrested On Boardwalk After Assault on Senior Street Performer...

Venice Boardwalk Development Appeal Hearing Postponed

June 11, 2021

June 11, 2021

Appeal hearing for mixed development at 811-815 Ocean Front Walk pushed back to August By Chad Winthrop An appeal hearing...

Wood Framing Complete For Mar Vista Affordable Housing Project

June 11, 2021

June 11, 2021

Vista Ballona development expected to be completed later this year with 50 units of affordable housing  By Toi Creel Wood...

Venice Boardwalk Encampment Resident Arrested for Violent Attack Against Elderly Performer

June 10, 2021

June 10, 2021

LAPD announce the arrest of 45-year-old Macio Harger By Sam Catanzaro Police have arrested a homeless man for the violent...

In-Person Events Are Back with Summer Swing Nights: Jazzy Vocals plus Live Big Band – Now with Tap Dance, Swing Lessons, Vendors to Benefit Museum

June 10, 2021

June 10, 2021

Live, in-person entertainment is bringing out happy fans of all ages for Summer Swing Nights: Drive-In Edition. The concert fundraiser features the...

First Baptist Church Of Venice One Step Closer To Becoming Historic Monument: YO! Venice Show – June 7, 2021

June 7, 2021

June 7, 2021

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * Hunter Biden and Family Move Out of Venice Canals Rental Home...

Mother’s Beach Lifeguard Tower Painted to Raise Awareness for Autism

June 4, 2021

June 4, 2021

LA County Ocean Lifeguard Scott Snyder paints MDR lifeguard tower to support special needs families By Sam Catanzaro A Mother’s...

Santa Monica Parking Structure to be Replaced by Housing?

June 4, 2021

June 4, 2021

A Santa Monica parking structure be demolished and replaced with affordable housing. Learn more in this video made possible by Santa...

Venice Pride Big Beach Clean Up This Morning

June 4, 2021

June 4, 2021

By Timothy. Michael Up early? Well help clean the beach with Venice Pride this morning. In honor of Pride 2021...

Opinion: Real Election Reforms Required as Venice Neighborhood Council Wraps Up 2021 Campaign

June 4, 2021

June 4, 2021

By Nick Antonicello Why would someone like me who has lived in Venice since 1993 and has been a registered...