March 5, 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

Video: Indoor Dining Close to Returning in LA County

March 4, 2021

March 4, 2021

Indoor dining could return to LA County very soon. Learn more and hear what diners have to say in this...

Food for Thought: An Unnecessary Coffee Shop Opens on Abbot Kinney

March 4, 2021

March 4, 2021

Alfred Coffee enters the crowded Venice coffee scene By Kerry Slater Does Abbot Kinney Boulevard need another trendy coffee shop?...

The Danger of Inshore Holes

March 4, 2021

March 4, 2021

Inshore holes can be dangerous to swimmers and are hard to identify, learn how to spot them and stay safe...

LA Unified Increasing Vaccinations as it Negotiates With Teachers Union

March 2, 2021

March 2, 2021

Over 40,000 vaccines allotted to LAUSD as teachers union calls for slower return By Sam Catanzaro Los Angeles school officials...

Puppy Stolen at Gunpoint Near Venice Beach Boardwalk

March 1, 2021

March 1, 2021

Shepherd puppy stolen over weekend in Venice A $1,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the safe return...

First Baptist Church Of Venice Receives A Black Lives Matter Street Mural: YO! Venice Show – March, 1, 2021

March 1, 2021

March 1, 2021

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * Amazon Prime Show ‘Bosch’ Hosting Stakeout Event * First Baptist Church...

‘Safe Camping’ at the VA is Open To All Homeless Veterans

February 26, 2021

February 26, 2021

The “safe camping” program is geared toward getting homeless Veterans off the streets and provides a way to transition from...

Video: Closing Down Westside Oil Field?

February 26, 2021

February 26, 2021

Officials are discussing closing a Westside oil field sitting on hundreds of acres of prime coastal land. Learn more in...

Edify TV: Greek Street Food Anyone?

February 25, 2021

February 25, 2021

A souvlaki and gyro house serving up authentic Greek street food is eyeing a second Westside location. Learn more in...

Video: Closing Streets to Allow for More Outdoor Dining?

February 25, 2021

February 25, 2021

A drunk driver recently crashed into a Santa Monica outdoor dining area, bringing attention to a proposal that would close...

Venice Family Clinic Merges With Local Community Health Center

February 23, 2021

February 23, 2021

Local community health centers Venice Family Clinic and South Bay Family Health Care to merge later this year By Kerry...

Lifeguards Make Over 70 Rescues During Weekend

February 22, 2021

February 22, 2021

Wind swells, inshore holes, warm weather result in buys weekend for lifeguards Summer-esque weather combined with a combination of hazardous...

Sneakers and Stuff Cancels in Store Launch of New Nike: YO! Venice Show – February, 22, 2021

February 22, 2021

February 22, 2021

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * Sneakers and Stuff Cancels in Store Launch of New Nike *...