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Bill Cunningham New York (2011)

tomatometer

99

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

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.

100

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

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.

audience

92

liked it
Average Rating: 4.3/5
User Ratings: 3,480

My Rating

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

Sep 19, 2011

$1.5M

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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.

March 13, 2012 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop 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.

January 4, 2012 Full Review Source: Variety
Variety
Top Critic IconTop 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.

June 23, 2011 Full Review Source: Arizona Republic
Arizona Republic
Top Critic IconTop Critic

[A] marvelous documentary.

June 14, 2011 Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Here is a movie about a happy and nice man.

May 19, 2011 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times | Comment (1)
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

May 5, 2011 Full Review Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

March 19, 2012 Full Review Source: Scotsman

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

March 18, 2012 Full Review Source: Observer [UK] | Comment (1)
Observer [UK]

Recommended if you are a dedicated follower of fashion.

March 15, 2012 Full Review Source: Daily Express
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.

March 15, 2012 Full Review Source: Guardian
Guardian

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

March 15, 2012 Full Review Source: Radio Times
Radio Times

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

March 15, 2012 Full Review Source: Financial Times
Financial Times

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

March 15, 2012 Full Review Source: Little White Lies
Little White Lies

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

March 11, 2012 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

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

March 5, 2012 Full Review Source: Total Film
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.

February 23, 2012 Full Review Source: The Skinny
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.

January 31, 2012 Full Review Source: sbs.com.au
sbs.com.au

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.

December 14, 2011 Full Review Source: ABC Radio (Australia)
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.

November 24, 2011 Full Review Source: Screenwize
Screenwize

It is both insightful and strangely moving.

November 3, 2011 Full Review Source: At the Movies (Australia)
At the Movies (Australia)

A wonderfully understated delight.

October 30, 2011 Full Review Source: The Sun Herald
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

October 29, 2011 Full Review Source: Urban Cinefile
Urban Cinefile

This is a rare and special film that should be savoured

October 29, 2011 Full Review Source: Urban Cinefile
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.

July 24, 2011 Full Review Source: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
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
October 9, 2012
rubystevens
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.
March 20, 2012
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.
November 15, 2011
c0up
c0up  

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.
October 21, 2011
jennifxu

Super Reviewer

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