Chris & Don - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Chris & Don Reviews

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June 29, 2013
Fascinating, intimate portrait of Christopher Isherwood and Don Bachardy.
Super Reviewer
June 16, 2013
I really don't like the stereotypes, but what more could have been expected in emotionally hobbled earlier eras? Sad and uplifting at the same time.
May 13, 2012
A beautiful portrait of two remarkable men and their life together. Perfect.
April 8, 2012
Extremely moving - a true love story that looks past gender and age and focuses on what truly matters in life ... love.
March 30, 2012
Fascinating: Isherwood's feelings for Bachardy, both sweetly romantic and creepily paternal, border on pederasty. Bachardy seems in many ways to be more interested in what Isherwood has to offer as a mentor than as a lover. If the relationship were carried out today, most would view it unfavorably. More fascinating still is that they're fairly forgivable in context, since having children and carrying on a long-term homosexual relationship simultaneously was unthinkable when the two met. So the film manages to be thought-provoking, provocative and sweet all at once.
February 4, 2012
I usually don't award five starts unless the movie is extraordinary and this documentary was extraordinary in every way! What an amazing love story between two people who had a 30 year generational gap. David Wiegand from the San Francisco Chronicle said: "Santi and Mascara are right to call their film A Love Story, because this is the portrait of a marriage as full and enviable as the greatest unions in literature". Interesting, fascinating, intriguing, for those that knew the Hollywood of 1940's and 50's or lived in Los Angeles during that time, this film will be quite entertaining. Class Act all the way!
October 14, 2011
Amazing story !! I can't even find the words!
October 1, 2011
This is an amazing account of the bond between Christopher Isherwood & Don Bachardy and the life that they lived together.
August 14, 2011
beautiful in every way...sniff...the title really only hints at the riches in store in this documentary about artist Bachardy and author Isherwood...
½ July 31, 2011
It was very honest and touching. It told a really unconventional love story that the society may have problem accepting. After the movie you will understand why, and how strong the bond is, regardless of gender, age, status. You will also see how the novel A Single Man came about. Strong recommend.
½ July 11, 2011
A delightful program. The theme doesn't allow expose into darker subjects, Isherwood's Pre-WWII Germany experience, the younger Bachardy's family life, same sex lovers during repressed times, are only given honorable mention. Bachardy was a physically beautiful young man and we clearly understand that one person can be enraptured by such beauty in a youthful other. "May-December couplings" make me uncomfortable but my opinion about it need apply only for me. I question it because I do not comprehend a bond with such disparity of experience. Yet they are not uncommon. Other disturbed positions of exploitation or pedophilia are simply exaggerated conjecture or plain wrong. Today's moral cultural compass does not apply 60 years ago when not yet conceived and is rightfully not explored in the film. The film does not debate these themes. This is a story about two adults 30 years difference in age. Bachardy says maybe he was influenced, wrongfully or rightfully by a influential older man but gladly so. He welcomed the experiences Isherwood without harmful intent or outcome provided him. There is no evidence for raking gross and perverted conjecture. I'm sorry we are such people. I am envious of experiences these men had, the talent they possess and I would never deny them that, nor us them. The film employs too few purposeful but wonderful quotes from Isherwood's diaries narrated by Michael York, photos and exquisite home movie footage. Those films show happy people with chemistry. There's little affection on display, it wouldn't have been considered in that day.
The title does not expose that this is ultimately Bachardy's story of the relationship. The film may lack some depth and nuance of full disclosure but I do not believe the film is ever dishonest. Some loss of impact is in the matter of fact telling of more controversial points that are mentioned just with little detail or emotion. Open relationships, affairs, drug and alcohol use are talked about but sex feels barely mentioned at all. We're deceived by the lack of detail on these darker topics. Certainly Bachardy has fully come to terms with the issues of his relationship and has no regard for regret or controversy. The result is that the topics feel overlooked though they are not. Perhaps I am jaded by more brutal exposures. That true love conquers all is clear. I was impressed by the story where Bachardy embarked onto a period of self discovery that could potentially separate the lovers forever. Isherwood yielded to his younger love the freedom to have the experience. That period culminated in Isherwood creating the successful "A Single Man," and ultimately with Bachardy and Isherwood together for life. That gave proof of a couple who belong together.
Finally, the film sits so firmly within an amiable disposition that the emotional impact of Bachardy's experience through Isherwood's death is undone. Though a deeper look might have been more interesting or moving, the film would not have been as accessible and lovely.
Oddly enough I watched a polar opposite coupling in Black, White and Gray next.
½ March 23, 2011
Sometimes, the most lasting relationships initially seemed unlikely and doomed. This is a story of one that nurtured and birthed an artistic legacy.
½ October 26, 2010
Surprisingly engaging documentary. Definitely recommended.
August 20, 2010
Touching and insightful look at the life of Christopher Isherwood, the author who gave life to CABARET and A SINGLE MAN as seen through the eyes of his long-term partner Don Bachardy. A seamless mix of documentary, stock footage, recreations and - yes - even animation! Isherwood's remarkable life unfolds surrounded by celebrities and world literary figures but told by the man who loved him, it all remains beautifully human. A terrific perspective on life, death, celebrity, aging, art, and most of all - love.
August 20, 2010
I was especially interested in watching this since I just got done watching 'A Single Man' three times! I didn't know much about Chris or Don. It was educational and at times felt, bordering on voyeurism. They loved each other intensely and you can see it in Don's face when he speaks of Chris. The pain and loss is still there. Like a part of him is gone.
Super Reviewer
½ July 13, 2010
More than anything its just a sweet story about two people terribly in love with each other. Without overstating it, the film shows that all people regardless or sex, class, race, or sexual orientation all go through the same things in relationships. I would have liked a more in depth portrait of Isherwood, but still the film is adequate.
July 12, 2010
This film documents the 34-year relationship between Christopher Isherwood (the author of "A Single Man") and Don Bachardy, a man who was 30 years his junior. Love truly informed their own creative processes, Isherwood through writing and Bachardy through painting.

A lengthy relationship like this is going to have lots of stories worth examining, but the movie entertains even more because there are loads of home movies and documented footage that exists to really tell the story of their life together over more than three decades.
½ May 28, 2010
Charming and very moving.
May 9, 2010
This documentary sheds a rather bright light on Isherwood's "A Single Man." Thoroughly enjoyed it! Makes one think twice about stereotyping age differences.
½ March 21, 2010
touching documentary on a relationship few are likely to understand
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