Coco Chanel and Igor Stravinsky
Another French film at the Tyneside. This one tells the story of the intense 'love' affair between Chanel and Stravinsky. It seemed to be a strangely glacial affair, utterly lacking in romance, warmth or affection. Lord, the film was slow . . . tedious. . . brooding. Nothing much happened. . .twice (as the saying goes). Plus, yet another disappointing leading man. Stravinsky looked, quite frankly, like a bit of a weirdo. Strange, ferrety eyes blinking behind rimless spectacles, a sallow, sour expression. He resembled a bitter and repressed Edwardian botonist. He did get his arse out every 20 minutes, but was not enough to convince me he was a passionate man. Even Coco Chanel maintained her slightly bored, aloof and unruffled demeanor during their lovemaking. That made me suspect that, in the bedroom at least, Igor failed to hit all of the right notes.
So, during the film there was lots of tortured and angry banging on the piano accompanied by long lingering shots of sorrowful, sunlit autumn leaves. Yawn. And the occasional heaving Ruskie arse. Double yawn. BUT, I have to say, the film was saved for me by the divinely opulent costumes and sets. I spent the whole time wishing I lived in an elegant Parisian art deco palace and wondering what lipstick Chanel was wearing. It's a bit like Midsummer Murders - I can happily sit through hours of John Nettles' woefully dreary crime drama just admiring the Agas and chintz sofas.
I did think the actress who played Coco Chanel was spectacular. She portrayed a prickly, steely determination, a beautiful, talented but cold and emotionally distant woman. Last year, Audrey Tatou's Chanel was a little to girly and twee, in my opinion.
Overall then, unless you have a passionate interest in costume, art deco design, lipstick, Ruskie arses or autumn leaves then I suggest you give this film a miss.
I have been teaching myself to sew. I confess, I am making slow progress. I can only sew cushion covers. Still, I have reupholstered many of my sofa's cushions this holiday and made some squashy floor cushions. OK. It is fair to say that my creations exist more at the 'shabby' rather than chic end of the shabby-chic continuum. But, I am proud of them nonetheless. Particularly as my favourites (the green satin) cost only 50p each to make.
You all know that I adore Lola Rose jewellery. I did break my spending-fast to buy this simple and chic ivory stone necklace. I had admired it with Madam Noir in John Lewis many times. Today it was half price. I had to have it. I love the feel of the smooth, cool semi-precious stones. Plus, inspired by the Chanel/Stravinsky monochrome mise-en-scene (if not the film itself), I love the simplicity and purity of the creamy white tones.
Don't you like colour Madamoiselle Chanel?
Well, of course. As long as it's black. Or white.
At last - my new foster lurcher
This is Freya. She will be living with me for a couple of weeks. She is an RSPCA girl, looking for a new home. She wasn't doing so well in kennels.
I agreed to take Freya as a tribute to beautiful, big-hearted Angie, the RSPCA volunteer who rescued hundreds of lurchers. With any luck this little girl find a home before I go back to school. I WILL NOT BE KEEPING HER!!! I keep saying this to people and they keep sniggering. Honestly. This is just temporary. I swear.
But, the thing is . . . I love her already. She is such a gentle and sweet little girl. And, she looks just like a mini-version of Miss Hetty. Here they are together on the sofa.