With a screenplay by writer-director Wash Westmoreland (Still Alice), his late spouse Richard Glatzer, and Rebecca Lenkiewicz (Ida), this biopic focuses on the early career of the bisexual French author Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette, who started as a ghostwriter for her husband Henry Gauthier-Villars (pen name Willy) in fin-de-siecle Paris. Mirroring the radical Modernists’ eclipse of the old guard, Colette (Keira Knightley) struggles to surpass Willy (Dominic West), 14 years her senior and a libertine who prefers the glittering salons of wealthy elites to the sweat and discipline that honest writing demands. Marketing was the real-life Willy’s forte: he knew what people wanted, especially when it overlapped his own sexual fetishes (here, fantasies about schoolgirls and lesbians), so he pushed his wife to tap her youthful experiences for the four wildly successful Claudine novels. The movie’s treatment of her same-sex affairs may be as tasteful as the set design, but the film is an absorbing introduction to a trailblazing artist.