A spirited Keira Knightley takes Belle Epoque Paris by storm in this lush and risqué biopic about the early career of turn-of-the-20th-century French writer Colette. Dominic West has a blast, too, as her husband, literary impresario Willy, a proper rotter who takes all the credit for his wife’s early books and is a womanising spendthrift to boot. But West gives him such blustering, larger-than-life charm he’s impossible to hate. There is a fine support cast, too, including Fiona Shaw as Colette’s sympathetic mother Sido and Denise Gough as cross-dressing aristocrat Mathilde de Morny (‘Missy’), but this is very much Knightley’s show and she’s terrific as the free-loving, rule-breaking, fiercely independent Colette. All the same, it’s West who gets the best lines, like this hilarious bon mot: ‘Bad theatre is like dentistry. You are compelled to stay in your chair, having your skull drilled, until the entire grisly procedure is over.’
Colette screens tonight at Cineworld Leicester Square at 7. 30pm and at the Embankment Garden Cinema at 8.30pm, and at the Embankment Garden Cinema on Friday 12th October at 11.30amm and at the Ciné Lumiere on Saturday 13th October at 6pm, and goes on general release in January 2019.