Seems like lesbian-themed films have been all around this year: The Girl in the Spider’s Web and Can You Ever Forgive Me? right now and The Miseducation of Cameron Post and Disobedience earlier in the year. There’s still The Favourite to come, which may turn out to be the best one, but for now, Colette is playing at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, and if you’re not familiar with the early 20th-century French novelist, you’ll be surprised at what you find in this movie.
Keira Knightley plays the author whose publisher husband “Willy” Gautier (Dominic West, almost stealing the film away) presses her into service as one of his writers after initially rejecting her work as “too feminine.” They have what today would be called an open marriage, as Willy signs off on his wife’s affairs with women so he’ll be free to pursue his own. The marriage eventually breaks up – not over adultery – but over money, when a strapped Willy sells his wife’s copyright to her novels out from under her. American director Wash Westmoreland (helming his first movie solo since the death of his filmmaking and life partner Richard Glatzer) does a fair job of capturing the milieu of France during la Belle Époque, and composer Thomas Adès (a classical music guy penning his first film score) has a blast imitating the sounds of Debussy and Ravel. This gender-bending film tells the story of an author who never received her due for writing about traditional women’s subjects but lived a remarkable life.
Colette runs Fri-Sun at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, 3200 Darnell St, FW. Tickets are $8-10. Call 817-738-9215.