Chicago Sun-Times

By Roger Ebert
The naturalism of Anne Fontaine's film would be at home in a novel by Dreiser. Her star Audrey Tautou, who could make lovability into a career, avoids any effort to make Coco Chanel nice, or soft, or particularly sympathetic.
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Wall Street Journal

By Joe Morgenstern
Coco is played by Audrey Tautou, and she's phenomenal--self-contained, tightly focused, sparing with her smiles, miserly with her joy, often guarded to the point of severity, yet giving off a grave radiance at every moment she's in front of the camera.
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Philadelphia Inquirer

By Carrie Rickey
Maybe it's just the subtitles, but it would seem that Fontaine has a keener eye for the elements that made Chanel's style than she has an ear for dialogue. But she gets a splendid performance from Tautou.
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Miami Herald

By Rene Rodriguez
Through Tautou's performance, Coco Before Chanel reveals the formation of an artist.
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San Francisco Chronicle

By Mick LaSalle
Coco Chanel is not the most lovable of heroines, but it's a strength of the film that director Anne Fontaine allows Tautou to make Coco as cold and ungiving as she does.
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Entertainment Weekly

By Lisa Schwarzbaum
Tautou is a fascinating, unsmiling, petite presence with a severe brow and an androgynous appeal, so much so that I wish Alessandro Nivola (Junebug) were a more robust beau as Arthur ''Boy'' Capel, the love of Chanel's life.
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USA Today

By Claudia Puig
Not an expansive biopic but a fascinating snapshot of a pivotal chapter for Chanel, her formative fashionista years.
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The Hollywood Reporter

Spectacle, a love triangle, heritage settings, bravura acting, witty dialogue, a bittersweet finale: There's something for everyone in Anne Fontaine's Coco Before Chanel.
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Boston Globe

By Wesley Morris
I could have watched this woman rip a piece fabric and turn it into a dress all day. I haven’t seen a lot of that. I have seen movies about a woman caught between two men, as Chanel is here.
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New York Daily News

By Elizabeth Weitzman
There are a select few artists who can take the same materials used by everyone else and create a masterpiece. Coco Chanel was one of them. Director Anne Fontaine is not.
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65 out of 100
Generally favorable reviews
Metascore® based on all critic reviews. Scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.