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Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky [2010] [R] - 8.2.3



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Unlike the MPAA we do not assign one inscrutable rating based on age, but 3 objective ratings for SEX/NUDITY, VIOLENCE/GORE and PROFANITY on a scale of 0 to 10, from lowest to highest, depending on quantity and context.

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Sex & Nudity
Violence & Gore
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Igor Stravinsky (Mads Mikkelsen) attends the debut of his ballet "The Rite of Spring" in 1913 Paris, and Coco Chanel (Anna Mouglalis) attends in her latest dress creation, wishing to liberate women's fashion as much as Stravinsky wants to free music from government interference. The audience is less than approving, and that's when Chanel invites the impoverished Stravinsky and his large family to live with her. Also with Yelena Morozova, Natacha Lindinger, Rasha Bukvic and Marek Kossakowski, Anatole Taubman and Grigori Manoukov. Directed by Jan Kounen. In French and Russian with English subtitles. [1:58]

SEX/NUDITY 8 - Four explicit sex scenes occur between a man and a woman: In one outdoor scene we see both people nude from the waist up (chest, breasts and buttocks are seen), and we hear heavy breathing and slight grunting, another similar scene takes place indoors on a living room floor and ends before they climax, in the third scene they are in missionary position from an overhead camera angle and we see thrusting and hear heavy breathing and loud grunting, and in the fourth scene we see the couple at a piano, she's straddling his lap, his pants are partially unzipped, and we see his bare abdomen as they thrust and grunt (the scene moves outside the room and we hear odd piano sounds as the man's son walks slowly in the hallway, listening and looking angry).
 We see a couple lying together, clothed, on a chaise lounge in a small outbuilding, kissing and making plans to spend a night together in Paris.
 A man moves his wife and their four children in a house with a woman with whom he begins a sexual affair: Smiles progress to touching hands, he explores her bedroom when she is gone, and she drops her gown before him and stands naked in a full back view to the camera (this scene leads to one of the aforementioned sex scenes).
 A woman at a party walks around with one full breast and nipple completely uncovered (she stumbles, with a half-full champagne glass in one hand and lit cigarette in the other, and her dress becomes twisted). A ballet official interviews a prospective male dancer, who stands before the desk nude and we see him from the back; the official tells him he is dismissed, as a woman walks into the office and the dancer holds his clothes at his waist and genital area and walks sideways out the door. A woman wears flimsy slip-like, thin-strapped lace dresses or negligees through which we can see the silhouettes of her breasts, nipples and abdomen in several scenes. Several scenes show a man in a bathtub, from above, and wee see his bare chest; in one scene a woman wearing long-sleeved, long-legged pajamas brings him towels, kisses his forehead, and leaves the room. Four scenes show women of all ages in low-cut gowns that reveal cleavage and bare arms and shoulders. Many women at a party wear low-cut and backless gowns that reveal cleavage, shoulders and arms. In a quick long shot of a painted office ceiling, we see two nude people of indeterminate sex.
 In a darkened bedroom, we see a woman in a corset, knee length slip, and over-the-knee stockings, using scissors to cut off the corset strings; her fully dressed boyfriend helps her remove it when she says, "I want to breathe" (we see the outline of her nipples through the slip) and he says, "There you are, naked again"; they caress each other's faces and shoulders and sex is implied.
 A man attempts to kiss a woman and she pushes him back strongly; he walks away and flashbacks show the couple ending an affair.
 A woman tells her husband's mistress that marriage and children change love and a male-female relationship; she later asks the other woman if she does not feel guilty for an affair with her husband and the second woman quickly answers, "No." A man tells male friends that he and a woman he was speaking with in a bar ended up in the same bedroom. A woman cries and tells her husband that she knows he is having an affair, and he holds her.
 A man and a woman end an affair and he gives her a religious plaque of the Crucifixion featuring an empty cross, as a memento.

VIOLENCE/GORE 2 - We hear that a woman's lover was killed in an auto crash and she sits in a darkened bedroom, staring at his photograph.
 A controversial Nijinsky-Stravinsky ballet, "The Rite of Spring," is performed with dancers in animal skins and garish clown-like makeup: a Native American girl character is raised in the air, implying a human sacrifice and the audience shouts, boos, whistles, applauds, and yells at the stage and one another, when the police arrive and close down the performance to end the scene.
 Several people discuss whether they believe in fate or chance as they play a game with Tarot cards, and one person becomes angry, slams his hands on the table, bangs on a piano's keys, goes to his room, swipes everything from a desk and pounds it with open hands.
 A man and a woman argue, call each other names and needle each other about their success; later, he tries to kiss her, she pushes him back fiercely and he walks away; in flashbacks we see them engaged in more arguing. A composer and ballet officials argue about an audience and the composer says, "They're idiots!" and slams a door closed. A man has several short, low-key arguments separately with his wife and his mistress: many times, he goes to a piano afterward and violently bangs out new musical phrases as he drinks alcohol. In several scenes, a composer violently slams and bangs a piano keyboard in dissonant chords, as he rewrites music.
 A woman appears unwell throughout the film: she's pale, thin, almost without eyebrows and she coughs; we hear that she suffers from consumption (i.e. tuberculosis), and a doctor listens to her breathing with a stethoscope.
 Two or three minutes of black and white silent film footage from the Russian Revolution is shown, featuring cavalry rifleman riding fast, soldiers marching with rifles, a statue pulled down with ropes, older people lying in streets and an elderly peasant being pulled somewhere off screen by two soldiers as she cries and struggles.
 In a dimly lit Paris museum, we see many animal skeletons and dinosaur skulls. A woman cries and tells her husband that she smells her body rotting from tuberculosis; he holds her as she cries and the scene ends. A man cracks two eggs into a glass and drinks them for breakfast.
 Two women discuss creating a new perfume and one says disgustedly, "People don't even wash!"

PROFANITY 3 - 3 mild obscenities, name-calling (idiots, stuck up, insult to music, crazy, crow, shopkeeper), 17 instances of stereotypical references to husbands, women, wives, working women, fashion designers, musicians, composers, ballet audiences, seamstresses), 2 religious profanities, 5 religious exclamations. [profanity glossary]

SUBSTANCE USE - A man drinks alcohol and a woman smokes a cigarette as they cut her out of her corset with scissors, three dining scenes show men and women drinking wine and alcohol, decanters of alcohol sit on sideboards, several party scenes show men and women drinking champagne with many partygoers smoking cigarettes that create clouds of smoke (one woman stumbles with a half-full champagne glass in one hand, a lit cigarette in the other and her left breast uncovered), a man drinks while composing, stumbles and falls asleep (we see large wine stains on his shirt), and a man drinks brandy, whiskey and vodka as he composes at the piano. One man and one woman smoke cigarettes throughout the film in nearly every scene and another man lights and smokes a cigar in three scenes.

DISCUSSION TOPICS - Politics, music, ballet, the arts, infidelity, lust, fashion, integrity, women's rights, poverty, illness, relationships, families, regrets, old age.

MESSAGE - Dedication to the arts and freedom can destroy relationships but create long lasting memories.

Special Keywords: S8 - V2 - P3 - MPAAR

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A CAVEAT: We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and some of our early standards were not as stringent as they are now. We therefore need to revisit many older reviews, especially those written prior to 1998 or so; please keep this in mind if you're consulting a review from that period. While we plan to revisit and correct older reviews our resources are limited and it is a slow, time-consuming process.

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