Film FestivalsMovie ReviewsTIFF 2018: Colette Review

Dylan PhillipsSeptember 12, 2018

This will be one of many reviews during this year’s Toronto International Film Festival. If you would like to keep up with our content, click here.

Synopsis: After marrying a successful Parisian man of letters known commonly as “Willy”, Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette is transplanted from her childhood home in rural France to the intellectual and artistic splendor of Paris. Soon after, Willy convinces Colette to ghostwrite for him. She pens a semi-autobiographical novel, about a brazen country girl named Claudine, that becomes a bestseller and a cultural sensation. Colette and Willy become the talk of Paris, and their adventures go on to inspire additional Claudine novels. Colette’s subsequent fight over the creative ownership of these books defies gender roles and drives her to overcome societal constraints, revolutionizing literature, fashion and sexual expression. (Elevation Pictures)

Starring: Keira Knightley, Eleanor Tomlinson, and Dominic West

Writers: Richard Glatzer, Wash Westmoreland, and Rebecca Lenkiewicz

Director: Wash Westmoreland

Rating: R (United States)

Running Time: 111 mins


Colette is a cookie-cutter period piece that falls flat as it fails to hit on the importance and relevance of this biography. While the charismatic lead performances and character relationships help to elevate the film’s story, the narrative finds itself dealing with terrible pacing issues, unexplored themes and an overall generic feeling void of any authenticity to make this woman and her life really stand out. This film is a standard Award season drama tied together by the climactic “Give me the Oscar” speech that should fill the quota for Keira Knightley period dramas for the next couple years.

Score: 6.5/10

*full review coming soon*

On top of writing reviews for this site, I also post video reviews on my YouTube channel The Film Fanatic where we post other content like countdown videos, movie recommendations, script analyses and more.

If you liked this, check out my other reviews here and my website! Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter and like me on Facebook.


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