TIFF Review: 'Colette' Features a Great Keira Knightley Performance Directed by Wash Westmoreland

Starring Keira Knightley, Dominic West, Denise Gough, Eleanor Tomlinson, Aiysha Hart
TIFF Review: 'Colette' Features a Great Keira Knightley Performance Directed by Wash Westmoreland
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English-speaking audiences likely won't be familiar with turn-of-the-20th-century French novelist Colette, but her story will resonate all the same. She authored the series Claudine, for which her husband Willy took credit, and she eventually broke out from under his thumb to pursue extramarital relationships with women.
 
Colette spans about a decade, which is a lot to cover in under two hours: affairs that deserve an entire movie race past in minutes, and the film never fully reckons with the stigma surrounding same-sex relationships over a century ago.
 
Thankfully, the actors save the day: Keira Knightley brilliantly portrays the passing of time, as she goes from fresh-faced innocence to self-assured confidence. And Dominic West brings compellingly sleazy charisma to his role as the shitty husband. Colette lived a turbulent life, but this is a heart-warming biopic.
 
(Elevation)