Coco Before Chanel

Featured In Issue 148, May/June 2010

WSR Score4
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
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Sexual content and smoking
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Single Side, Single Layer (BD-25)
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Anne Fontaine
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DTS HD Lossless 5.1
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"Coco Before Chanel" stars Audrey Tautou as Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel, the orphan who would build a fashion empire and be known universally by her nickname, Coco. She journeys from a mundane seamstress job, to boisterous cabarets, to the opulent French countryside, possessing little more than her unwavering determination, unique style, and visionary talent. (Gary Reber)

Special features include commentary with Writer/Director Anne Fontaine, a making-of documentary in seven segments (SD 46:12), two featurettes: "Coco Before Chanel: The Meeting" (SD 18:17) and "Walking The Red Carpet: From Los Angeles To New York" (HD 07:49), the theatrical trailer, up-front previews, and BD-Live functionality.

The 1080p 2.34:1 AVC picture is nicely cinematic with a warm, soft feel yet richly detailed and striking in its costumed imagery. The picture is impressively natural in appearance, with a focus on texture, both objects and clothing. Fine detail is revealing of facial features and in particular, the garments that dress the women. The thread count is extensive, with visibly predominant threads and stitches. Object textures, such as the architecture of Balsan's country castle, are finely rendered, which enhances the sense of early 20th century aristocrat France. The countryside environs are beautifully depicted in varieties of grasses and other natural foliage. Colors appear slightly desaturated, yet hues are richly and warmly rendered. Whites are vividly highlighted and blacks are deep for the most part, but occasionally appear washed out. Shadows are also nicely rendered and reveal excellent depth. The imagery exhibits a good sense of dimensionality. Fleshtones are perfectly natural. Subtitles are positioned in the black area below the active picture and enter the picture area when two or more lines are displayed. This will present a problem with home theatre viewing systems that employ active picture masking. Overall, this is a wonderfully beautiful picture with a natural color scheme and a respect for fine detail. (Gary Reber)

The DTS-HD Master Audio™ 5.1-channel soundtrack is quietly rendered with a lush orchestral music score that is nicely recorded and presented wide and deep across the soundstage, with an aggressive presence in the surround channels. Other than atmospheric sound effects and the music, the focus is0 frontal with production and ADR dialogue. Dialogue sounds perfectly natural, with a good sense of spatial integration, though, it is restricted to the center channel, without bleed into the stereo and surround channels, to enhance dimension. The horses racing through the soundstage sounds real and is the extent of low-frequency presence. While this is a dialogue-focused film, the soundtrack manages to feel spacious due to the music score and the intricate atmospheric sound effects. (Gary Reber)