Starring: Keira Knightley, Dominic West, Aiysha Hart, Fiona Shaw, Denise Gough, Robert Pugh, Rebecca Root, Eleanor Tomlinson
Bio-drama directed and co-written by Wash Westmoreland, which is based on the life of the French novelist Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette (Keira Knightley). Set at the dawn of the modern age, the story follows Colette who after marrying successful Parisian writer, Henry Gauthier-Villars (Dominic West), known commonly as “Willy”, 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 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, revolutionizing literature, fashion and sexual expression.
Colette: I don’t want to be treated like some little wife at home, I want to be part of things.
Willy: You’ll be part of everything, I promise.
Willy: May I introduce to you my new wife, Colette.
Man #1: The wild days are done, hey?
Colette: On the contrary, the wild days have just begun.
Willy: You’ve married a literary entrepreneur.
Colette: And you’ve married a county girl without a penny to her name.
Willy: We’re doomed, aren’t we?
Willy: Willy is a brand. We have stories by Willy, we have music reviews by Willy, and now we have Willy’s first novel.
Veber: And who’s going to write this novel?
Willy: Willy is a brand. I take all the risk, and there’s still no money! We need more output. You, you could write.
Colette: My school stories?
Willy: Yes. That could be Willy’s next novel.
[referring to Willy]
Man #2: Are you writing for him too?
Man #2: He’s made you one of his ghosts already.
[writing her book]
Colette: My name is Claudine. I live in Montagny. I shall probably not die there.
[referring to Colette’s book]
Willy: It’s beautiful.
[referring to Colette’s book]
Willy’s Publisher: We’ve never had one fly off the shelves like this before. And do you know who’s buying it, young women.
Man #3: Willy, your book will change the world!
Colette: Subtle as ever.
Willy: I have little plans to turn Claudine into the most popular girl in the entire world.
Willy’s Publisher: I believe William based Claudine on your school days.
Colette: Yes, I think I had a little something to contribute.
Willy: Finally we have a success and then you imply that I’m not the true author of it. People love to talk, I understand the mentality here, you don’t.
Colette: I understand it well enough to write a book that’s the toast of Paris.
Willy: [to Colette] We’re holding dynamite here. It could blow our bloody heads off.
Willy: [to Colette] Tell me, how many people in this park do you think are reading Claudine right now?
Mathilde de Morny: You’ve done something important. All those young girls, you’ve given them a voice.
Colette: Willy has.
Mathilde de Morny: I mean you have. You should own up to it.
Willy: People are begging for more.
Colette: I don’t want to write another Claudine.
Willy: Are you out of your mind?
[after locking Colette in a room]
Colette: Willy, you bastard!
Willy: He was after you.
Colette: Your jealousy is misplaced.
Willy: How so?
Colette: It was the wife I found interesting.
Colette: [to Willy] Since when have you considered scandal to be a bad thing?
Man # 5: [to Colette] Oh, how interesting. Your love line is split into three.
Colette: I must get used to marriage.
Sido: Better to make marriage used to you.
Sido: [to Colette] No one can takeaway who you are.
[referring to Colette’s writing]
Willy: Destroy these. Incinerate them.
Colette: [to Willy] You found me when I knew nothing. You molded me to your own desires, and you thought that I could never break free. Well you’re wrong.
Colette: I will continue to pursue this because I want to.
Colette: The hand that holds the pen writes history.
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