Coco Before Chanel (Blu-ray) Official AVSForum Review - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 18 Old 02-18-2010, 11:26 AM - Thread Starter
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attachment.php?attachmentid=167520&d=1266511299
The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

Film: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373692

Extras: attachment.php?attachmentid=109943&d=1210373692

Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )

81






Studio and Year: Sony Classic Pictures - 2009
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 110 minutes
Genre: Drama/Biopic

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.35:1
Resolution: 1080p/24


Audio Format(s): French DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio
Subtitles: English
Starring: Audrey Tautou, Benoit Poelvoorde, Alessandro Nivola, Marie Gillain, Emmanuelle Devos
Directed by: Anne Fontaine
Music by: Alexandre Desplat
Written by: Anne Fontaine & Camille Fontaine
Region Code: A

Blu-ray Disc release Date: February 16, 2010







"She invented the modern woman"



Film Synopsis:

Audrey Tautou (The Da Vinci Code, Amélie) shines in this intriguing portrait of the early life of Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel, the orphan who would build a fashion empire and be known universally by her nickname, Coco.



My Take:

Coco before Chanel is a dramatized biopic of the early life of Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel, a pioneering woman who would later build a fashion empire that bears her name. It carefully follows her journeys from a mundane seamstress job to boisterous cabarets to the opulent French countryside, possessing little more than her unwavering determination, unique style and visionary talent. This isn't an exciting or stimulating film however I found it interesting. Gabrielle Coco Chanel as depicted here is a complex, sympathetic, fearless, and pioneering. I couldn't help but see her as a sad person that was ultimately unlucky in love but successful in life. Coco learned of loss from an early age but never let it detract from her driven desire to be something more. The film's focus is on her life before she becomes the iconic visionary who changes the face of women's fashion. It tells of her meager beginnings and the struggle to survive in a male dominant society at the turn of the century. While the story doesn't revolve around her success later in life it does present a clear picture of her prevailing mindset when it came to style. She had an intuitive understanding of what worked to enhance the female form. As a seamstress she knew how to interpret it best and chose unconventional approaches in designs that she wore. This extended beyond her clothing though. She could most definitely be considered a feminist who didn't feel the need to conform to societal pressures regarding how a woman should act, think and of course dress. Coco was a nickname derived from something her father used to call her and it stuck. She understood intimacy but knew little about love. Her first experience with it would shape her perspective forever. I didn't find Coco before Chanel to be a gripping film but it an engaging one that is well enacted by Audrey Tautou in her portrayal of this complex woman who defied convention and defined the modern woman.




Parental Guide:

The ratings is for sexual content and smoking.






AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**


(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

Audio: 80



  • Dynamics: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373692

  • Low frequency extension: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373692

  • Surround Sound presentation: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373692

  • Clarity/Detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692

  • Dialogue Reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692


Video: 82


(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Resolution/Clarity: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Black level/Shadow detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373692

  • Color reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Fleshtones: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

  • Compression: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692
Coco before Chanel comes to Blu-ray Disc from Sony Classic Pictures featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 28 mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bit rate of 3 mbps.

This isn't an overly bright film both in tone or visual design and this video presentation accurately conveys that. The color palette uses lots of pale secondary colors that give the film a stark visual aesthetic that coincides with the location, climate and subject matter. When brighter colors such as shades of red or yellow are present, they pop with a vivacious and inviting quality. Fleshtones seem to accurately reflect the often lighter and sun starved complexional tones of the cast. Detail in dark areas and low lighting is above average which provides discernible but limited visible structure within backgrounds. Blacks are respectable but not definitively deep enough to add dynamic punch to dark scenes. The varying levels are gray used in backgrounds has excellent gradational highlights which enhances depth perception. High definition resolution is satisfying as close ups are well delineated and long range visuals are reasonably sharp.

This film relies heavily on the spoken word and the DTS-HD MA soundtrack handled it with crystalline articulation and descriptive intonation that allowed even minute changes in vocal inflection to be discernible. The presentation maintained a frontal perspective but broadened occasionally to effectively simulate falling rain open exteriors, or a crowded nightclub. Dynamic range was fair as evidenced by the presence impact felt sound effects, the palpable intensity of raised voices or subtle delicacy of derived from Alexandre Desplat's music. The fidelity inherent in the recording appeared intact as the soundtrack had excellent tonal balance, defining clarity, and high level detail that enhanced auricular minutia.

** CIH users should note that the subtitles appear within the picture area.**



Bonus Features:


  • Commentary with writer/director Anne Fontaine

  • The making of Coco before Chanel:

    1. The project's origins - 5 minutes
    2. Coco's look - 8 minutes
    3. An extraordinary destiny - 5 minutes
    4. Etienne Balsan - 11 minutes
    5. Boy Capel - 6 minutes
    6. Historical reconstruction - 6 minutes
    7. Anne Fontaine - 3 minutes

  • (HD) Coco before Chanel: The meeting - 18 minute featurette

  • (HD) Walking the red carpet: From Los Angeles to New York - 7 minutes

  • (HD) Theatrical trailer

  • BD-Live enabled
attachment.php?attachmentid=167521&d=1266511299



Final Thoughts:

Coco before Chanel is a good dramatic biopic that provides a glimpse into the early life of the woman that would forever change the fashion world. Gabrielle Coco Chanel was an intriguing, complex, and unique woman that was certain of who she was and what she wanted. Her life before she became Chanel wasn't an easy one but it would define the person she would later become. This story succeeds in conveying her unfettered sense of style, the interpersonal relationships that shaped her, and the pioneering/feminist spirit that drew people to her and later helped to launch an empire. It comes to Blu-ray Disc from Sony offering satisfying high definition imagery, good lossless sound quality and a decent set of bonus supplements that offer a peek behind the scenes at the film's production. Coco before Chanel is an enjoyable watch and a worthwhile experience on Blu-ray Disc. I recommend that you give it a spin.









attachment.php?attachmentid=109949&d=1210373731






Ralph Potts
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post #2 of 18 Old 02-18-2010, 03:37 PM
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I missed this during it's premiere and found the story behind it to be interesting and intriguing. Definitely going to have to check this one out.

Always thought Audrey is a great actress.

Cheers
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post #3 of 18 Old 02-18-2010, 04:13 PM
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Hi Ralph,

I want to ask you. You dont use a constant height screen. Nor do I.

Do you get harased because you don't?

I do.

I don't like the wider scope and 16x9 seems to work for me.
The black bars don't seem to bother me.

Do they bother you?

Ta

Dono
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post #4 of 18 Old 02-18-2010, 06:32 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Badas View Post

Hi Ralph,

I want to ask you. You dont use a constant height screen. Nor do I.

Do you get harased because you don't?

I do.

I don't like the wider scope and 16x9 seems to work for me.
The black bars don't seem to bother me.

Do they bother you?

Ta

Dono

Greetings,

No problem with harassment. Most go with their individual preference which is the way it should be. There are positives for both sides.

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post #5 of 18 Old 02-21-2010, 11:00 AM
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The picture of the cover didn't load up on the front page and I read it as "Channel" so I kind of expected this to be about Conan O'Brian, ha.
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post #6 of 18 Old 02-23-2010, 10:21 AM
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Watched this film yesterday and found it to be enjoyable and interesting movie.
It was not riveting by any means, but found Audrey Tautou's performance well done and engaging for a period film.
Thanks Ralph for the review.
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post #7 of 18 Old 02-23-2010, 11:33 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JJHXBR View Post

Watched this film yesterday and found it to be enjoyable and interesting movie.
It was not riveting by any means, but found Audrey Tautou's performance well done and engaging for a period film.
Thanks Ralph for the review.

Greetings,

Glad to hear you enjoyed it and thanks for sharing your impressions.

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post #8 of 18 Old 02-23-2010, 04:40 PM
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Movie is bad on audio because they should at least have made a dub track. Last thing I want to do is sit through 110 minutes of reading captions. I watched for 10 minutes and then hit eject!

My blockbuster store manager finally took my suggestion and segregated ALL the foreign language movies to two shelves, so that none of them are located in the new release or archival section. Unfortunately he says they can't do that with BluRay titles as they have to be segregated on their own. I believe we now have three BluRay titles that fail in the language track for Region A.

Sorry for my prejudice, but I watch movies for entertainment. I don't speed read for entertainment.

Also, Ralph, sorry for posting a negative in your thread but I feel strongly about this pet peeve of mandatory dubbing in English, giving the viewer the CHOICE of which language to sit through. If I were Chinese living in China I would insist on Chinese dubbing for this movie. It isn't like I'm requesting a technology that doesn't exist here.
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post #9 of 18 Old 02-23-2010, 04:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Landis View Post

Movie is bad on audio because they should at least have made a dub track. Last thing I want to do is sit through 110 minutes of reading captions. I watched for 10 minutes and then hit eject!

My blockbuster store manager finally took my suggestion and segregated ALL the foreign language movies to two shelves, so that none of them are located in the new release or archival section. Unfortunately he says they can't do that with BluRay titles as they have to be segregated on their own. I believe we now have three BluRay titles that fail in the language track for Region A.

Sorry for my prejudice, but I watch movies for entertainment. I don't speed read for entertainment.

Also, Ralph, sorry for posting a negative in your thread but I feel strongly about this pet peeve of mandatory dubbing in English, giving the viewer the CHOICE of which language to sit through. If I were Chinese living in China I would insist on Chinese dubbing for this movie. It isn't like I'm requesting a technology that doesn't exist here.

Don, you're in the minority. Most of us hate dubbing. I watch some of the lower res tracks on some of my imports rather than listen to an English dub.

Ralph, thanks again for the informative review. I'm quite the Audrey Tatou fan. However, based on the VQ, this may qualify more as a rental.
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post #10 of 18 Old 02-24-2010, 09:27 AM
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Quote:


Don, you're in the minority. Most of us hate dubbing. I watch some of the lower res tracks on some of my imports rather than listen to an English dub.

I don't believe I'm in the minority at all unless of course you carefully select the group of people that agree with you to do your survey. Those in your camp would not want to watch a movie that they could not read nor understand the spoken language. The only reason you would watch a movie in a language you did not understand was if it was subtitled and you like to read dialog rather than listen to it. IMO, if you want to read, go read the book. All I ask for is a viewer choice. What you're saying is I should not be given that choice because you hate dubbing and you think most people hate dubbing. Fact is, I never said I insist you to listen to dubbing, just that I want the choice to listen to it. Because you want to read a movie I should not be allowed to hear the dialog in a language I understand? Because you want to read a movie and I don't you should not have the option to turn on the reading track?

Please note- In my response I address "you" as one in a category of a movie artists critics rather than a typical "joe public." Most artsey types feel as you do but are not in the majority. What I believe is the typical joe public opinion counts and from people I have talked with, just about all who do not identify themselves as a movie art enthusiast, but rather just enjoy a good piece of entertainment, would rather understand the dialog ( in English Dub), than listen to a movie they didn't understand what was being said. This is a similar argument as "fill my screen- no letterbox" I had the same attitude with that argument- Give the viewer the choice ( although in this debate, I did favor OAR.)
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post #11 of 18 Old 02-24-2010, 10:03 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Landis View Post

I don't believe I'm in the minority at all unless of course you carefully select the group of people that agree with you to do your survey. Those in your camp would not want to watch a movie that they could not read nor understand the spoken language. The only reason you would watch a movie in a language you did not understand was if it was subtitled and you like to read dialog rather than listen to it. IMO, if you want to read, go read the book. All I ask for is a viewer choice. What you're saying is I should not be given that choice because you hate dubbing and you think most people hate dubbing. Fact is, I never said I insist you to listen to dubbing, just that I want the choice to listen to it. Because you want to read a movie I should not be allowed to hear the dialog in a language I understand? Because you want to read a movie and I don't you should not have the option to turn on the reading track?

Please note- In my response I address "you" as one in a category of a movie artists critics rather than a typical "joe public." Most artsey types feel as you do but are not in the majority. What I believe is the typical joe public opinion counts and from people I have talked with, just about all who do not identify themselves as a movie art enthusiast, but rather just enjoy a good piece of entertainment, would rather understand the dialog ( in English Dub), than listen to a movie they didn't understand what was being said. This is a similar argument as "fill my screen- no letterbox" I had the same attitude with that argument- Give the viewer the choice ( although in this debate, I did favor OAR.)

Greetings,

I would tend to agree that the majority of people I encounter prefer not to have to read subtitles. Like Allargon I much prefer hearing the film the way it was recorded. Reading the subtitles doesn't bother me. I must admit that at one time Don I felt very much like you but after experiencing several excellent films (The Black Book comes to mind) in foreign languages the dubbed track just loses something.

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post #12 of 18 Old 02-25-2010, 01:21 PM
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Ralph- I hope you understand where I'm coming from on this. Many jump to the conclusion and don't. All I'm saying is if you market a film here in the states it should have the OPTION of selecting a dub track. While I don't believe in over regulation, I'd rather just consider it an industry standard, for anywhere in the world, for that matter, when a film is marketed in that country a dub track in that native language as an option is included.

Look at Avitar. from what I have seen here in the big city of Jacksonville, ( a joke) we had the choice in each multiplex to see the film in 3D or not 3D. I like that! CHOICE. That's what it's all about.

I have watched a few films in Spanish as I have a modest grasp of that second language, but I still prefer an English dub because trying to think and understand complex storyline plots and such in the foreign language, even when I have a modest grasp of it is like work. Plus, I've seen some subtitles not even translate some things properly. Especially when it comes to street Spanish.
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post #13 of 18 Old 02-25-2010, 01:35 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Landis View Post

Ralph- I hope you understand where I'm coming from on this. Many jump to the conclusion and don't. All I'm saying is if you market a film here in the states it should have the OPTION of selecting a dub track. While I don't believe in over regulation, I'd rather just consider it an industry standard, for anywhere in the world, for that matter, when a film is marketed in that country a dub track in that native language as an option is included.

Look at Avitar. from what I have seen here in the big city of Jacksonville, ( a joke) we had the choice in each multiplex to see the film in 3D or not 3D. I like that! CHOICE. That's what it's all about.

I have watched a few films in Spanish as I have a modest grasp of that second language, but I still prefer an English dub because trying to think and understand complex storyline plots and such in the foreign language, even when I have a modest grasp of it is like work. Plus, I've seen some subtitles not even translate some things properly. Especially when it comes to street Spanish.

Greetings,

Don, I understand your point but wanted to offer my thoughts.

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post #14 of 18 Old 02-26-2010, 08:05 AM
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Ralph- How much snow did you get there? You know I used to be your neighbor, but that was quite a few years ago.
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post #15 of 18 Old 02-26-2010, 10:31 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Landis View Post

Ralph- How much snow did you get there? You know I used to be your neighbor, but that was quite a few years ago.

Greetings,

Don, we got slammed with about 24 inches...

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post #16 of 18 Old 02-27-2010, 09:52 AM
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I lived in Middletown in the 70's.

Have fun shoveling!
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post #17 of 18 Old 02-27-2010, 07:47 PM
 
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The problem with dubbed versions is that the vocal inflections and nuances are lost. In most cases, the dubbing is not done by actors (or at least, often not as talented as the film's stars). I don't see anything wrong with including dubbed versions, of course...just not at the expense of the original intent. If space is an issue, the dubbed versions should be in 2,0 audio. That way, those who prefer compromisde over artistic intent can still have a compromised audio version, and everyone else can enjoy the movie ias it was intended.
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post #18 of 18 Old 04-25-2010, 05:56 PM
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Dubbing over one of the romance languages should be a crime. French is such a pretty language, I much prefer reading the subtitles.


I saw this film on DVD last night, it was a good movie, and Audrey Tatou is certainly a beautiful woman with amazing eyes. I do not think she is a very good actress though. Its a good movie, despite Audrey's lackluster performance.
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