Beautiful Darling (2011)
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Critic Reviews for Beautiful Darling
Darling's fragility was no secret, which gives even the movie's comical moments an underlying poignancy.
"Beautiful Darling" is sympathetic and critical, a sobering reminder in this fame-grabbing age of a time when gender politics, art and artifice could make for a turbulent identity cocktail.
Like fellow Factory figures Edie Sedgwick and Jackie Curtis, Darling now gets her own documentary, and proves a more than worthy subject.
A fairly besotted look, produced under the guidance of a longtime friend.
"Beautiful Darling" makes extensive use of photos, sketches and Darling's diaries belonging to Jeremiah Newton, a gay pal she lived with on and off until her death from cancer in 1974.
Audience Reviews for Beautiful Darling
This is a documentary about the drag queen/transsexual performer Candy Darling, who was one of Andy Warhol's Superstars. Most of the film is relayed through interviews conducted by her friend Jeremiah Newton, who takes up almost all of the film as he mugs for the camera. I don't believe his sentiments are untrue to the spirit of Candy, but the film shouldn't have featured him so heavily. The film also provides a lot of footage of Candy in various films, backstage at comedy clubs, and there are voice overs (Sevigny) that read from her diaries. From the many interviews there's a decent enough picture of who she really was and what she wanted, but there wasn't a lot of context, historically speaking. For someone unaware of Warhol's oeuvre, this film is not very informational. There's no link between Warhol and Candy, except for when those interviewed express Candy's dependency on the icon for her continued fame. Otherwise it's unclear how Candy became Candy other than from the words of Newton. We don't know how she made it to New York, how she transformed herself, or what her relationship with Warhol was like. While these aspects of her story may not be what's important to understand her as a person, they need to be shown to the audience so we understand the film's narrative.
The most lasting aspect of the film for me is the enduring devotion of Candy's best friend, Jeremiah Newton. These many years later, he is still looking after her. Though the love story here many not be a conventional one, these are not conventional people. I've seen this three times, and it gets even better with each viewing. The soundtrack is perfect. Not too obtrusive, but always appropriate.
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