As a teenager, country girl Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette (Keira Knightley), later known only by her last name, marries a friend of the family, critic and author Willly (Dominic West). He introduces her to the fine salons and when they get short on money, he realizes that she has talent as a writer and gives her a job as ghostwriter. Colette’s stories about Claudine, published with Willy as the author, becomes a success and hugely popular in Paris. As Willy is notorious unfaithful to Colette, she too begins to look elsewhere for love and discovers her own queer sexuality. “As a cinematic experience, it is both exuberant, cinematographic and time-typical. Everyone speaks English, but that is forgiven because of the excellent performances,” says Katarina Wikars at P1's Kulturnytt. Annika Gustafsson at Sydsvenskan was also impressed by the acting: "I hardly think West has been so good since the breakthrough in the TV series The Wire."