Cert 15 112mins Stars 3

Keira Knightley teases a taste for scandal among Parisian high society in this handsome period biopic set in a bohemian swirl of celebrity, fashion and art.

It’s based on the life of famed French novelist, Gabrielle Colette, a poor country girl swept off to Paris by her rampant, exploitative and bullying older husband, played by an exuberant Dominic West in an alarming goatee beard.

They’re a great double act and especially good at essaying the fluctuating power within their relationship and the conflict caused by his publishing her racy novels under his name.

But Colette’s convention-challenging lifestyle is protected by her status, meaning much of her behaviour is consequence-free and so sadly lacks drama.

Kudos to Knightley for choosing a complex leading role which challenges the sympathies of the audience, but her talent is let down by a plodding pace and an unfocused script which resorts to spicing things up with a couple of steamy scenes with Poldark’s Eleanor Tomlinson.




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