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Kiera Knightley is captivating as Colette, the French author who defiantly reclaims her voice and identity from her parasitic husband.

The upcoming drama follows witty country girl Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette, played by Knightley, who indulges in a dream-like romance with an egotistical and wealthy literary entrapeneur, Henry Gauthier-Villars, known professionally as Willy.

As were taken through their life together in snippets a few years apart at a time, the pair encounter financial hardship and, from there, the dream quickly falls apart.

Willy encourages (and later forces) Gabrielle to ghost-write a novel for him. Despite his derision, the novel, titled Claudine, instantly becomes a phenomenon, particularly loved by young women.

Colette Review Credit: Number 9 Films

Dominic West plays Willy, a wealthy but ultimately talentless literary entrepreneur (Picture: Number 9 Films)

As ladies across France begin to mimic the character, the novel inspires theatre productions, bath products and clothing lines, transforming into a straight-up franchise. Zoella, eat your heart out.



While Willy is credited not only with creating the masterful novels, but also a new type of woman, Colette no longer accepts his lack of fidelity and respect for her under the guise of this is what men do.

Knightley shines as she depicts the transformation from strong but naively infatuated Gabrielle to defiant and determined Colette who, as she assuredly declares, is the real Claudine.

As Colette begins her mission to reclaim the rights to her own work, she also reclaims her identity from her soul-crushing husband, embracing her newly discovered bisexuality.

Colette Review Credit: Number 9 Films

The novel becomes a national sensation (Picture: Number 9 Films)

Beginning an affair with the enchanting Georgie Raoul-Duval, played by Eleanor Tomlinson, and later romancing Missy, a transgender man who encourages her to take back her life, she embraces her sexuality and challenges the double standards shes been subject to.

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An empowering figure, shes made all the more lovable by her effortless ability to show up her despicable husband.

Knightley dazzles as she brings the witty heroine and her transformation to life, supported brilliantly by Dominic West, who is devilishly easy to despise.

More: Film review

Depicting the collision of worlds through the duality of the bustling French cities and Colettes beloved countryside, Wash Westmoreland brings the story of the under-appreciated novelist to life.



Its an apt love-letter to a woman who was ahead of her time, and a long overdue tribute to her life and work.

Colette is in cinemas 9 January.

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