Pharrell Williams plays a deferential elevator attendant in the full, seven-minute version of Chanel's film "Reincarnation" (we reported on the teaser last week). But don't worry, you still get to hear him sing.
The film is about Coco Chanel's visit in the 1950s to a hotel in Austria, where she was inspired by the jacket worn by the elevator attendant. But the way it's told fuses the nineteenth century, the 1950s and modern style. The story about Chanel, played by Geraldine Chaplin, frames a dream sequence/music video interlude in which Williams appears as a reincarnation of Franz Joseph I, the Emperor of Austria. As the emperor, he and his wife Elisabeth "Sisi" of Austria, played by Cara Delevingne (who appears earlier in the story as a rebellious waitress), step out of their formal portraits on the hotel's wall and the scene shifts back in time to imperial Austria. The pair waltz and sing a duet of a new track called "CC The World."
Williams was apparently inspired by Viennese music, but there's some very 2014 boogying going on towards the end. The film, directed by Karl Lagerfeld, ends back in the 1950s when Coco Chanel stops on her way out of the hotel to ask emperor/elevator attendant Pharrell where he got his uniform jacket.
Great cinematography, fabulous costumes and sets and the surprisingly gruff vocals of Delevingne all make this worth watching, but it's a theatrical Williams who supplies the real star quality.