After marrying a successful Parisian writer known commonly as "Willy" (Dominic West), Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette (Keira Knightley) is transplanted from her childhood home in rural France to the intellectual and artistic splendor of Paris. Soon after, Willy convinces Colette to ghostwrite for him. She pens a semi-autobiographical novel about a witty and brazen country girl named Claudine, sparking a bestseller and a cultural sensation. After its success, Colette and Willy become the talk of Paris and their adventures inspire additional Claudine novels. Colette's fight over creative ownership defies gender roles and drives her to overcome societal constraints, revolutionizing literature, fashion and sexual expression.
"A lively, credible portrait. We can imagine how much worse it was for female artists working in earlier, even more repressive societies. Here to prove the point — and also to complicate it, in unexpected and pleasurable ways — is Colette, a witty, spirited portrait of the great French writer and libertine during the early Belle Époque years of her career." (Justin Chang, Los Angeles Times)
"Light, enjoyably fizzy. Colette is an origin story, a tale of metamorphosis rather than of already formed greatness. What interests Mr. Westmoreland is how a self-described country girl became a woman of the world." (Manohla Dargis, New York Times)