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‘Widow Clicquot’ Review: Haley Bennett Soars As Grande Dame Of Champagne In Lush Biopic – Toronto Film Festival

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Pop the cork and celebrate Haley Bennett in Widow Clicquot, a fast-paced and sexy biopic of the woman known as Madame “Veuve” Clicquot, or by her actual full name, Barbe Nicole Ponsardin-Clicquot, who triumphed over all odds to become the force that created and brought to the world the leading brand of Champagne.

The film premiered at the Toronto Film Festival. Serving as a producer with her Cyrano director Joe Wright (along with Christina Weiss Lurie), and taking on the title role, Bennett anchors a plush and gorgeous period film set against the Vineyards in France circa 1800, with a story that begins with Barbe Nicole at age 26, widowed by the sudden tragic death of her husband Francois Clicquot (Tom Sturridge) who, though manic and excitable, managed to build a dream of a vineyard and the creation of a new Champagne and was joined by his wife and mother of their daughter in the quest.

We start with her dressed in black and mourning, but also determined to carry on her husband’s vision, one that she will prove to be the unstoppable engine in taking it to the next level.

Although Wright has directed numerous period films of this stripe, including Pride & Prejudice, Anna Karenina, Atonement, and most recently Cyrano in which Bennett starred, the directing reins on this one are turned over to Thomas Napper (Jawbone) who does a splendid job in bringing to life this vivid period in France.

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