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13 March 2019
10:00am, 2:30pm, 5:00pm, 7:15pm


Wednesday 13 March 2019
10.00 am, 2.30 pm, 5.00 pm & 7.15 pm 
Directed by Wash Westmoreland 
UK/USA Biography/Drama 
111 mins 

After marrying successful Parisian writer Henry Gauthier-Villars, known commonly as “Willy” (Dominic West), Gabrielle Colette (Keira Knightley) is transplanted from her childhood home in rural France to the intellectual and artistic splendour of Paris. Soon after, Willy convinces Colette to ghost-write for him. Colette, in turn, pens a semi-autobiographical novel about a witty and brazen country girl named Claudine, sparking a bestseller and a cultural sensation. After its success, Colette and Willy become the talk of Paris and their adventures inspire additional Claudine novels. Colette’s fight over creative ownership and gender roles drives her to overcome societal constraints, revolutionising literature, fashion and sexual expression. 

The life of Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette makes for fascinating drama in a nuanced and inspiring film with a luminous central performance. Much of what makes this film so fascinating is the not-quite-villain-but-certainly-not-hero role Willy plays. The obvious read is that Willy exploited Colette in ways bordering on cruelty. (He even locks her in a room and shouts “write!” when her initial Claudine novel demands a follow-up.) Westmoreland’s film doesn’t exactly excuse him, but does offer context about his contributions to Colette’s initial success as well as a realistic portrayal of how women writers were perceived at the time.


“Knightley and West have a tremendous chemistry: two very smart and worldly performances that suggest that Colette and Willy did enjoy something like a real love affair.” – Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian. 

“It is funnier than you might expect and a timely look at prejudice and the creative process.” –Jamie East, The Sun (UK)

“It’s a modest but handsome production, lovingly photographed by Giles Nuttgens and mostly filmed in Hungary, with period trappings that seem authentic in every respect.” – David Stratton, The Australian