×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Keira Knightley Fights for Authorship, Sexual Expression in First ‘Colette’ Trailer

Bleecker Street released the first trailer for the upcoming biopic “Colette” on Wednesday.

Keira Knightley stars as the eponymous Parisian novelist struggling through an abusive and exploitative marriage to Henry Gauthier-Villars, played by Dominic West. During their marriage, Gauthier-Villars forced Colette to write her famous Claudine novels under his name, reaping the fame and financial rewards that came with the novels’ success. The footage opens at the outset of their marriage at a lavish dinner party, where one of the attendees remarks, “The wild days are done, eh?”

“On the contrary — the wild days have just begun,” Colette replies, setting the scene for rebellion.

Colette beings recounting her early days ghost writing under her husband’s name. “My name is Claudine,” Knightley’s voiceover says. “I live in Montigny. I should probably not die there.”

But as her works reap more success, particularly with the audience of young women, Colette becomes unsatisfied with her nonexistent bylines.

“You found me when I knew nothing,” her voiceover continues, supplementing a montage of resistance against her abusive husband. “You molded me to your own desires. And you thought that I could never break free. Well, you’re wrong.”

The footage also touches on Colette’s love affair with a woman, which she continued in spite of her husband. While her husband suspects Colette’s infidelity, she assures him his “jealousy is misplaced.”

“It was the wife I was interested in,” she taunts.

Colette ends the trailer on a note of reclamation, finally becoming the author of her own story. “The hand that holds the pen writes history,” she says.

Knightley told Variety for a recent cover story that screenwriter Richard Glazer and director Walsh Westmoreland labored for 15 years to get the film financed. She said the timing of the movie’s release in the midst of the Time’s Up and Me Too movements isn’t coincidental. She said the pic’s plot revolving around Colette’s revolt against her abusive husband and her affair with Marquise de Belbeuf, a notable gender-defying lesbian artist of the time, draws parallels to the stories being told today.

The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and is set to hit theaters on Sept. 21.

RELATED VIDEO:

More Film

  • First Look at SAG Awards' Cuban

    First Look at SAG Awards' Cuban-Inspired After-Party (EXCLUSIVE)

    Celebrities at this year’s SAG Awards won’t have to go far for some tropical fun. Sunday’s annual post-show gala, hosted by People magazine for the 23rd year, is set to feature a Cuban-themed party space adjacent to the Shrine Auditorium. “We’re kind of going back to more of a thematic element. I have some close [...]

  • Paul DavidsonVariety Big Data Summit Presented

    Listen: The Orchard's Paul Davidson on Surviving Sundance Bidding Wars

    Hollywood heads to Park City, Utah this week in the hopes of finding the next big Sundance Film Festival breakout. Paul Davidson, executive vice president of film and television at The Orchard, plans to be in the thick of it. In today’s edition of Variety‘s “Strictly Business” podcast, Davidson opens up about The Orchard’s strategy [...]

  • Young Tony Soprano in 'Sopranos' Movie:

    James Gandolfini's Son Michael Gandolfini Cast as Tony Soprano in 'Sopranos' Movie

    Michael Gandolfini, son of the late James Gandolfini, will play the young Tony Soprano in “The Many Saints of Newark,” the  prequel movie to the television series “The Sopranos.” “It’s a profound honor to continue my dad’s legacy while stepping into the shoes of a young Tony Soprano,” Gandolfini said. “I’m thrilled that I am [...]

  • Bradley Cooper A Star Is Born

    The Message of the Oscar Nominations: You'd Better Have a Social Message

    Each year at the Left Coast crack of dawn, when the Oscar nominations are announced, there’s generally at least one major nomination many pundits were predicting that fails to materialize. When that happens, entertainment media tends to rise up as one and say the s-word: snub. In truth, it’s not usually a snub; it’s just [...]

  • Elton John and Mark Ronson

    Elton John to 'Shallow' Songwriter Mark Ronson: 'You're Going to Win the Oscar'

    Elton John is willing to bet that Mark Ronson will win the Oscar for Best Original Song for “Shallow” from “A Star Is Born.” The nominations were announced this morning. The legendary performer spoke to Ronson on the latest episode of his radio show “Elton John’s Rocket Hour” on Apple Music’s Beats 1.  “You’re having a [...]

  • Olivia Colman Colin Firth Helen Mirren

    Playing a British Monarch Is a Step on the Road to Oscar Glory - Again

    “Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown,” Shakespeare wrote of Britain’s care-burdened monarchs. Try telling that to the Academy. Once again, playing British royalty has proved to be a tried-and-true route to Oscar glory, with Olivia Colman as the latest actor to be nominated for an Academy Award for portraying an occupant of the British [...]

  • Black Panther Movie

    Oscars: 'Black Panther' Leads Best Picture Nominees to Near-Record Box Office Grosses

    This year’s Academy Award nominees proved the Oscars don’t need a popular film category to recognize movies with huge box office grosses. The 2019 crop of best picture hopefuls have generated an impressive $1.26 billion so far in North America alone. That bounty is led by “Black Panther,” which earned a sensational $700 million at [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content