<p>Written and directed by Anne Fontaine, this French biopic on Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel (played by the ever-talented Audrey Tautou of Amelie fame) tells the rags-to-riches story of the legendary designer. Growing up a scrawny and poor orphan, Chanel's rise to international fashion phenomenon wasn't without obstacles. In <em>Coco Before Chanel</em>, Chanel strolls down various career paths, enters into tumultuous love triangles, all the while feeling like a fish out of water in the upper-crust society that employs her. "In order to be irreplaceable, one must always be different," she once said. </p><p></p>She went on to do just that. Disapproving of the gaudy and excessive wardrobe of the times, she reinvented the woman's conventional lookâdeconstructing it, ridding it of social impositions like corsets, and infusing it, literally, with men's clothing. <a href="http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/news/la-et-coco25-2009sep25,0,7544808.story">The LA Times heralded Tautou's strong portrayal</a>, saying, "Tautou not only resembles Chanel, she inhabits the role completely, using flashing eyes and a relentless intelligence to convey the unbending strength of a woman determined to make something of her life in a time and place when that was far from the norm."