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The New Look

“Elegance requires intimacy,” says Christian Dior (Ben Mendelsohn), during a pivotal moment of the new Apple TV drama “The New Look.” The French designer is expressing frustration at the palatial postwar atelier space his new corporate sponsors are pressuring him to occupy, for he does not believe beauty can come out of intimidating surroundings. But the dialogue is equally applicable to Dior’s characterization on creator Todd Kessler’s (“Damages,” “Bloodline”) 10-episode miniseries, premiering today, which follows the trials and tribulations of Parisian couturiers during and after World War II. The writing is far more sympathetic to Dior’s struggles, charting the path from endless personal tragedies to legendary artistry. Moving and intriguing though Dior’s achievements are, they cannot distract from the flat-out revisionist treatment of Coco Chanel (Juliette Binoche). Extensive historical evidence has revealed that Chanel was a Nazi, yet the writers seem committed to doing everything they can to minimize, or conceal entirely, this truth. Chanel’s story is treated with kid gloves, and perhaps most appallingly of all, her fight to control her business is portrayed as more debilitating than the experiences of European Jews. 


One Day

Overall, it works. They earn their eventual couplehood, having found their way to a beautiful and exceptional pairing.

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