Diss screening for Colette starring Keira Knightly
PUBLISHED: 09:52 27 August 2019 | UPDATED: 09:52 27 August 2019
Based on a script by director Wash Westmoreland and his late husband Richard Glatzer, Colette lovingly details the true story of the French novelist, who challenged the supposed limitations of her gender in early 20th-century Paris.
Westmoreland crafts his pages of feminist history and creative endeavour into a handsomely appointed battle of words between Keira Knightley's dutiful wife turned trailblazer and Dominic West's egotistical and domineering husband.
The balance of power shifts subtly between them over the course of almost two hours, beginning with the discovery of one of his affairs.
Colette's spouse has the audacity to claim that he is genetically predisposed to stray from the marital bed. "This is what men do. We are the weaker sex," he professes.
That's certainly true through Westmoreland's lens because Colette draws strength from the various women around her to plough her own creative furrow, sometimes against the grain of public opinion.
Knightley's moving, studied performance captures the tenacity of a fragile bloom who grows to love her imperfections and thorns, and uses them wisely to honour the words of her mother: "Trust no-one but yourself".
Beautifully shot by cinematographer Giles Nuttgens, Colette savours the central character's metamorphosis, culminating in her crowd-pleasing years as a music hall performer, smeared with greasepaint.
Knightley and West are delightful sparring partners and Gough brings a slow-burning intensity to her gender-fluid paramour, who wears trousers in an era of skirts and politely heaving bosoms.
British composer Thomas Ades's orchestrations underscore the hard fought battle for parity and respect.
- Colette screens at Diss Corn Hall on August 28, 10.30am and 7.30pm, £01379 652241, disscornhall.co.uk