Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky

Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky
Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky
Directed by Jan Kounen
Produced by Chris Bolzli
Claudie Ossard
Veronika Zonabend
Written by Carlo de Boutiny
Jan Kounen
Based on Coco & Igor by Chris Greenhalgh
Starring Anna Mouglalis
Mads Mikkelsen
Music by Gabriel Yared
Cinematography David Ungaro
Editing by Anne Danché
Distributed by Sony Pictures Classics USA
Release date(s) 24 May 2009 (2009-05-24) (Cannes)
30 December 2009 (2009-12-30) (France)
Running time 118 minutes
Country France
Language English
Coco Chanel, 1920
Igor Stravinsky, 1921

Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky is a 2009 French film directed by Jan Kounen. It was chosen as the Closing Film of the 2009 Cannes Film Festival, and was shown on 24 May 2009.[1][2]

Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky is based on the 2002 fictional novel Coco & Igor by Chris Greenhalgh and traces a rumoured affair between Coco Chanel and Igor Stravinsky in Paris in 1920, the year that Chanel No. 5 was created. Greenhalgh also wrote the screenplay for the film. Chanel and its current chief designer Karl Lagerfeld lent their support to the production;[3] they granted access to the company's archives and to Coco Chanel's apartment at 31, rue Cambon, Paris.[4] The film was released in very close proximity to Anne Fontaine's Coco avant Chanel starring Audrey Tautou.



An introductory scene takes place in Paris in 1913, where Coco Chanel attends the first, scandalous performance of Igor Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring. The rhythmic dissonance of the score and the surprising choreography of the piece result in heckling and outrage among much of the audience. But Chanel is impressed by Stravinsky and his music.

Seven years later, Chanel and Stravinsky meet again. Although her business has flourished, Chanel is mourning the death of her lover, Arthur "Boy" Capel. Stravinsky has chosen to flee to France following the Russian Revolution. An immediate sympathy and attraction occurs between the ‘couturiere’ and the composer.

Chanel invites Stravinsky to live in her villa outside Paris, along with his ailing wife and their children. The summer months that follow see Chanel and Stravinsky begin an affair, one which Stravinsky's wife can not avoid becoming aware of. Tensions between Stravinsky and his wife, and between Stravinsky's wife and Chanel, are unavoidable.

The film implies that the affair, and the later termination of the affair by Chanel, has a major influence on the lives of both Chanel and Stravinsky. It is during this time that Chanel creates Chanel No. 5 with her perfumer, Ernest Beaux, and that Stravinsky begins to compose in a new, more liberated style. Especially the termination of the affair is implied to have inspired some of the most moving passages in Stravinsky's new composition.


  • Mads Mikkelsen as Igor Stravinsky
  • Anna Mouglalis as Coco Chanel
  • Elena Morozova as Catherine Stravinsky
  • Natacha Lindinger as Misia Sert
  • Grigori Manoukov as Sergei Diaghilev
  • Rasha Bukvic as Grand Duke Dmitri
  • Erick Demarestz as The Doctor
  • Nicolas Vaude as Ernest Beaux
  • Anatole Taubman as Boy Capel
  • Maxime Danielou as Theodore
  • Sophie Hasson as Ludmila
  • Nikita Ponomarenko as Soulima
  • Clara Guelblum as Milene
  • Olivier Claverie as Joseph
  • Catherine Davenier as Marie
  • Marek Kossakowski as Nijinsky
  • Jérôme Pillement as Pierre Monteux
  • David Tomaszewski as Principal Violinist
  • Marek Tomaszewski as Pianist
  • Anton Yakovlev as Piotr
  • Irina Vavilova as The Governess
  • Julie Farenc Deramond as Julie the salesgirl
  • Emy Levy and Sarah Jérôme as Workshop girls
  • Tina Sportolaro as Beaux’s secretary
  • Michel Ruhl as The Baron
  • Pierre Chidyvar, Agnès Vikouloff and Sacha Vikouloff as Russian musicians
  • David Baschung as The Doctor
  • Cyril Accorsi, Matthieu Bajolet, Caroline Baudouin, Bruno Benne, Jonathan Ber, Laura Biasse, Barbara Caillieu, Marie-Laure Caradec, Damien Dreux, Sophie Gérard, Patrick Harlay, Inès Hernandez, Anne Laurent, Thibaud Le Maguer, Anne Lenglet, Olivier Normand, Florent Otello, Edouard Pelleray, Judith Perron, Pascal Queneau, Enora Rivère, Julie Salgues, Jonathan Schatz, Wu Zheng (dancers in The Rite of Spring)


Reviews were mixed. Stephen Holden of the New York Times said the film was “cool, elegant and sexy…. But the film … never regains that initial blast of energy and the final scenes wobble toward a wishy-washy ending.”[5] Writing for DVD Talk, Casey Burchby praises the "extraordinarily bold" opening sequence that recreates the Paris premiere of Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring.[6]


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