Coco: A History Lesson (Not Really)


Two things are for certain in this world: everyone knows the name Chanel & not many of us are history buffs.

Here are the quick and dirty facts:

Coco was born (illegitimately) as Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel in 1883 and was abandoned, along with her four siblings, at the age of 12 by her traveling salesman father, Albert, after her mother, Jeanne Devolle, passed away.

At the Catholic orphanage where Gabrielle spent seven years she learned to sew.

Gabrielle became known as Coco because she originally wanted to be a singer and at 22 would often sing songs that played on her nickname like “Who’s Seen Coco in the Trocadero?” and “Ko Ko Ri Ko” at a La Rotonde.

While singing in cabarets and cafes Coco would sew costumes for her numbers, as well as other acts.

Money from generous gentlemen callers helped to fund her first shops … yadda, yadda, yadda.

The real point here folks is that for those of us who aren’t history buffs, sometimes it’s easier to watch the movie.

Enter French filmmaker Anne Fontaine.

It was announced at this year’s Cannes that Fontaine will direct a yet untitled Coco Chanel project to begin filming in 2008 which will focus on Chanel’s childhood to her years as a young woman and entrepreneur.

Who will play the lead role? I know, I know, but Audrey Hepburn is kind of indisposed. There is, however another Audrey that fits the bill quite nicely.


Audrey Tautou
(Amélie, Dirty Pretty Things, The Da Vinci Code) has been signed to play Chanel and looks like she may have some competition for box office dollars. There are two other Coco biopics slated to begin production in the next 2 years.


Bacilio’s Buyer Beware:
Be sure to check titles and show times before hitting purchase so that you avoid any on site movie theater uncomfortableness ala the infamous Truman Capote debacle.