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In the film, Knightley plays Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette, a French novelist who overcomes the constraints of society to later become a Nobel Prize-nominated author.
After marrying charismatic Parisian writer Henry Gauthier-Villars (Dominic West), Colette abandons her life in rural France to move to the city of Paris, where her creative abilities are sparked. Her husband, known under the pen name Willy, recruits Colette to ghostwrite a novel to be published under his name. When her works garner huge success, Colette strives to break out of the literal and metaphorical confines her abusive husband yields upon her.
In the trailer, Knightley is shown breaking free of societal molds in more ways than one, as she also pursues a sexual relationship with a cross-dressing woman.
Amidst the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements, Knightley’s portrayal of one of the early feminist figures in arts and culture is poignantly relevant today.
Colette, which premiered earlier this year at the Sundance Film Festival, is being discussed as a potential Oscar contender.
The film is set for release Sept. 21.