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Bill Cunningham New York (2011)


Average Rating: 8/10
Reviews Counted: 67
Fresh: 66 | Rotten: 1

Critics Consensus: Suffused with happiness and modest charm, Bill Cunningham New York offers a touching, gently humorous portrait of its subject without invading his jealously guarded privacy.

Average Rating: 8.2/10
Critic Reviews: 23
Fresh: 23 | Rotten: 0

Critics Consensus: Suffused with happiness and modest charm, Bill Cunningham New York offers a touching, gently humorous portrait of its subject without invading his jealously guarded privacy.


Average Rating: 4.3/5
User Ratings: 3,519


Movie Info

"We all get dressed for Bill," says Vogue editrix Anna Wintour. The "Bill" in question is 80+ New York Times photographer Bill Cunningham. For decades, this Schwinn-riding cultural anthropologist has been obsessively and inventively chronicling fashion trends and high society charity soirées for the Times Style section in his columns "On the Street" and "Evening Hours." Documenting uptown fixtures (Wintour, Tom Wolfe, Brooke Astor, David Rockefeller-who all appear in the film out of their love … More

Musical & Performing Arts , Documentary
Directed By:
In Theaters:
Sep 19, 2011
Box Office:
Zeitgeist Films - Official Site


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Critic Reviews for Bill Cunningham New York

All Critics (67) | Top Critics (23) | Fresh (66) | Rotten (1) | DVD (1)

He was the first, and what's obvious from this lively and engaging doc, an original.

Full Review… | March 13, 2012
Time Out
Top Critic

Whatever this Times-produced, TV-ready tribute lacks in tension is amply compensated by the pleasure of watching an enthusiast ply the craft he loves.

Full Review… | January 4, 2012
Top Critic

It's not just what he does. It's who he is. And he approaches it with such unbridled passion and joy that you can't help but sharing in it; absolutely no knowledge or love of fashion is required.

Full Review… | June 23, 2011
Arizona Republic
Top Critic

[A] marvelous documentary.

Full Review… | June 14, 2011
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

Here is a movie about a happy and nice man.

Full Review… | May 19, 2011
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Filmmaker Richard Press offers a humorous, touching and insightful portrait about a subject who clearly would have preferred to stay behind the camera.

Full Review… | May 5, 2011
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic

Press is careful to keep the focus on Cunningham as he's keeping his focus on those around him.

Full Review… | March 19, 2012

Genuinely in love with clothes, Cunningham makes you think of fashion in a more positive and enlightened way.

Full Review… | March 18, 2012
Observer [UK]

Recommended if you are a dedicated follower of fashion.

Full Review… | March 15, 2012
Daily Express

This affectionate documentary celebrates the veteran photographer who, at 84, still works a tough schedule, taking photos on the street of real people wearing real fashion.

Full Review… | March 15, 2012

This isn't the confessional exposé some would hope, but it is a reverent profile of a fascinating, funny and inspirational gentleman.

Full Review… | March 15, 2012
Radio Times

Bill Cunningham New York is a minor joy, lurking amid the week's non-fiction.

Full Review… | March 15, 2012
Financial Times

Gives you new perspectives of fashion, photography and New York.

Full Review… | March 15, 2012
Little White Lies

There's few sharp edges or dirt digging, but it's no less engaging for that.

Full Review… | March 11, 2012
Empire Magazine

A doc that'll make more than just fashionistas smile.

Full Review… | March 5, 2012
Total Film

Press asks Cunningham only two questions: one about love, the other God. Both cut deep. The price of this lifelong quest to document beauty is a heavy one.

Full Review… | February 23, 2012
The Skinny

A collective of well-groomed talking heads chronicle Cunningham's career as a milliner-turned-fashion historian, and their insights speak volumes about the origins of this pillar of integrity's faultless work ethic.

Full Review… | January 31, 2012

Don't worry if you've never heard of Bill Cunningham. This delightful documentary is all about getting to know the man - and he's a major, fascinating character.

Full Review… | December 14, 2011
ABC Radio (Australia)

Bill has followed his bliss for 60 years, and it's a delight to follow him for 80 minutes - even if you have no interest in fashion. Don't miss it.

Full Review… | November 24, 2011

It is both insightful and strangely moving.

Full Review… | November 3, 2011
At the Movies (Australia)

A wonderfully understated delight.

Full Review… | October 30, 2011
The Sun Herald

This is a fascinating portrait of a unique character who has built his own world out the worlds of others. Quite unlike poseur photographers, he dresses, eats sleeps and talks simply; he gets around on a push bike. And he smiles a lot

Full Review… | October 29, 2011
Urban Cinefile

This is a rare and special film that should be savoured

Full Review… | October 29, 2011
Urban Cinefile

Maybe the world doesn't need a feature-length film about Cunningham; maybe we don't even need his pictures. But we need examples like his, people who retain a joyful individuality while fitting seamlessly into our crazy world.

Full Review… | July 24, 2011
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Audience Reviews for Bill Cunningham New York

bill cunningham is a delight and it's a great inside look at the new york fashion world but i fear the film went too far in the end. there's a touching but uncomfortable bit of invasion of bill's privacy that i'm not entirely happy with. over all enjoyed it very much

Stella Dallas

Super Reviewer

Like some of the best documentaries, Bill Cunningham New York is a human story - the tale of one man who almost embodies kindness and innocence. His enthusiastic personality is enough to make this film worth watching all on its own, but director Richard Press takes it to the next level by hinting at deeper themes of society's sameness versus individuality, the sad passage of time, modesty and the ability to find and create happiness. And while the world of fashion is probably very high on my list of things I really, really don't care about, the film and its quirky protagonist exude a warmth that is rare, especially in the cold heart of New York City.

Sam Barnett
Sam Barnett

Super Reviewer

'Bill Cunningham New York'. A fascinating, sad look at a man whose love for the fashion of everyday people has so wholly consumed his life.

You can't help but admire Bill Cunningham's drive, simplicity, strong-minded virtues, overwhelming passion and enthusiasm, but at what cost? He loves what he does so much, that he "doesn't have time" for a relationship or family. It had me questioning whether the balance is needed to lead a fulfilling life.

At one point, he's asked about music as an interest, and he says he goes to church every Sunday to listen to the music and half-jokingly "to repent!". He must be a conflicted individual inside, and it comes to the fore during those last, deeply personal questions.


Super Reviewer

So maybe part of the reason I love this so much is due to my obsession with old people - but bear with me! - Bill is one of a kind. He's discerning without being nasty, cute without being cloying, imbued with a heart of gold. It's amazing what this documentary captures, this quietly Catholic, relationship-less man with a passion for fashion who's not really interested in anything else, whether it be fine dining, gorgeous honeys, or clothing on himself. He's a human camera night and day but he loves it and New York loves him for it. This is such a KIND documentary.

Jennifer Xu

Super Reviewer

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