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Valentino: The Last Emperor (2009)



Average Rating: 6.8/10
Reviews Counted: 74
Fresh: 57 | Rotten: 17

Valentino: the Last Emperor utilizes its access to the fashion icon to the fullest, and the result is a glitzy, dishy, and insightful documentary.


Average Rating: 7.1/10
Critic Reviews: 27
Fresh: 23 | Rotten: 4

Valentino: the Last Emperor utilizes its access to the fashion icon to the fullest, and the result is a glitzy, dishy, and insightful documentary.



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Average Rating: 3.7/5
User Ratings: 10,323

My Rating

Movie Info

"Valentino: The Last Emperor" provides a first-time glimpse into Valentino's world of bygone glamour. Filmed from June 2005 to July 2007, the crew shot over 250 hours of footage with exclusive, unprecedented access to Valentino and his entourage. The resulting non-fiction film is a portrait of an extraordinary partnership, the longest running in fashion, and a dramatic story about a master confronting the final act of his celebrated career.


Documentary, Special Interest

Sep 8, 2009


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All Critics (74) | Top Critics (27) | Fresh (57) | Rotten (17) | DVD (2)

This up-close portrait delivers all the runway glamor and backstage gossip that fashionistas crave, yet it's also unexpectedly poignant.

July 30, 2009 Full Review Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The director only skims over the historical material. In taking for granted that this background is familiar to all, the film drives home the fact that high fashion is made by the few for the few.

July 10, 2009
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic IconTop Critic

There's only one monarch mentioned in the title of Valentino: The Last Emperor. But Matt Tyrnauer's breezy and entertaining look inside the world of high fashion is very much a two-man show.

July 10, 2009 Full Review Source: Toronto Star
Toronto Star
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Superficial but giddily entertaining.

July 10, 2009 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail
Globe and Mail
Top Critic IconTop Critic

As Valentino's team of seamstresses pore over a sequined white dress, entirely hand-sewn, and finally premiere it to the designer in its flawless, couture glory, it's all you can do not to gasp with pleasure.

June 12, 2009 Full Review Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Above all, Valentino is a celebration of beauty and love, and the ways in which one begets the other.

May 8, 2009
Dallas Morning News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

If you like "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous," you'll like this film about fashion icon Valentino. But it's an absorbing, fly-on-the-wall documentary regardless.

February 26, 2012 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis
Movie Metropolis

It's ultimately difficult to envision all but the most ardent of fashion fans finding much to embrace in Valentino: The Last Emperor...

October 2, 2011 Full Review Source: Reel Film Reviews
Reel Film Reviews

It's interesting to a degree, but without a strong knowledge of the fashion industry, a novice will be left out in the cold.

February 1, 2011 Full Review Source: Las Vegas CityLife

It does pull back the curtain on a traditionally withdrawn public figure. For that alone, the documentary is a fascinating glimpse into a mind that's always on the go.

July 24, 2010 Full Review Source:

The documentary film crew gets remarkable behind-the-scenes access to Valentino's fashion empire.

January 4, 2010 Full Review Source: Laramie Movie Scope
Laramie Movie Scope

Frothy doc on the iconic fashion designer Valentino.

December 16, 2009 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

You don't have to be a fashionista to get something out of this unique documentary about the famous designer, his way of working, and his long term relationship with business partner Giancarlo Giammetti.

November 18, 2009

An antidote to weepy tales such as "Philadelphia" and "Brokeback Mountain". Yes, Virginia, gay people can enjoy long-term relationships.

November 16, 2009 Full Review Source:

What a nice surprise to settle in for a fashion documentary and find a touching love story hidden within its glamorous folds.

September 27, 2009 Full Review Source:

The film successfully paints a picture of how this relationship worked so well as a business; it's less capable of penetrating the emotional story.

September 17, 2009 Full Review Source: MovieTime, ABC Radio National
MovieTime, ABC Radio National

Stays firmly, admiringly, on the surface of things -- which is where all fashion kings should reign.

September 17, 2009 Full Review Source: The Age (Australia)
The Age (Australia)

From naked models draped in fabric, to private jet passengers draped in dogs, Valentino is a warts and all, fly on the wall insight into the life of one of the great fashion designers. Unfortunately in this flick there are more warts than all.

September 16, 2009 Full Review Source: Unknown2

Matt Tyrnauer's documentary about the venerable Italian fashion designer, Valentino, has been billed as a love story, and so it is.

September 16, 2009 Full Review Source: Sydney Morning Herald
Sydney Morning Herald

The unique behind-the-scenes profile Tyrnauer has achieved makes this more than just another excuse to look at beautiful models in pretty frocks, and a film not only for fashionistas.

September 16, 2009 Full Review Source: Courier Mail (Australia)
Courier Mail (Australia)

Mostly compelling documentary, though there are aspects to the fashion legend's story that are unfortunately neglected.

September 15, 2009 Full Review Source: FILMINK (Australia)
FILMINK (Australia)

We're as fascinated by his eccentricity as we are impressed at his high standards and taste.

September 14, 2009 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine Australasia
Empire Magazine Australasia

This remarkably intimate portrait, made with less formality than you might expect, gives a real insight into Valentino as a living, working phenomenon at the end of his career

September 10, 2009 Full Review Source: Urban Cinefile
Urban Cinefile

A wonderful documentary that allows us to peek at the excess but stays real by its candid fly on the wall approach. It's riveting, insightful, funny and enjoyable as we go on and behind the catwalks and glimpse the public and private Valentino Garavani

September 10, 2009 Full Review Source: Urban Cinefile
Urban Cinefile

It's like the death of true creative fashion happening before our eyes. The insight into a fashion house like Valentino is illuminating.

September 9, 2009 Full Review Source: At the Movies (Australia)
At the Movies (Australia)

More reality show than fashion show, it's slight but still as fun as it is fashionable.

August 21, 2009 Full Review Source: Times-Picayune

Audience Reviews for Valentino: The Last Emperor

Forget September Issue, Valentino: The Last Emperor is the real about the fashion world to watch. Chiefly though Valentino is an engrossing character study of the man himself, his charms, huge ego and his unsurpasable talent.
September 30, 2009

Super Reviewer

An absolutely first-rate documentary that does what only a great documentary can do: present what seems to be one story in such a way that it illuminates so much more. Yes it's about fashion and design, but it's also (or maybe primarily) about the cost of iconic fame and the endurance of a 45-year personal and professional relationship. It's breezy and entertaining and deep and probing. OK, it's just terrific. Enough fancy words. It's terrific.
May 27, 2009
Jeff Talbott

Super Reviewer

This documentary about fashion designer Valentino Garavani is one of the highest grossing and most buzzed about documentaries of the year, and it?s been longlisted for the Documentary Feature Oscar category. The praise made it sound like something worth checking out, but I?d been pretty hesitant to do so simply because I frankly don?t give a damn about Valentino or about the world of fashion. But I saw this was a available for instant streaming on Netflix and I had a couple hours to kill, what did I have to lose? Not a lot really, this proved to be fairly watchable but it certainly didn?t make me care about or particularly respect its subject any more than I did before. The year in the man?s life which this chronicles proves to not be very dramatic, it?s just sort of a few typical days in the guy?s life and I suppose his fans will find it pretty revealing.
December 25, 2009

Super Reviewer

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