Finding Vivian Maier (2014)


Critic Consensus: Narratively gripping, visually striking, and ultimately thought-provoking, Finding Vivian Maier shines an overdue spotlight on its subject's long-hidden brilliance.


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Movie Info

Who is Vivian Maier? Now considered one of the 20th century's greatest street photographers, Vivian Maier was a mysterious nanny who secretly took over 100,000 photographs that went unseen during her lifetime. Since buying her work by chance at auction, amateur historian John Maloof has crusaded to put this prolific photographer in the history books. Maier's strange and riveting life and art are revealed through never-before-seen photographs, films, and interviews with dozens who thought they knew her. (c) IFC

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Critic Reviews for Finding Vivian Maier

All Critics (96) | Top Critics (28)

Maier's life tells us one thing: great photographers always show themselves in their work, even if they never show their work.

Nov 6, 2014 | Rating: 3.5/5 | Full Review…

This is a fascinating study.

Jul 17, 2014 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Every time one of her photos flashes on the screen, the woman's genius is undeniable.

May 2, 2014 | Rating: B | Full Review…
Detroit News
Top Critic

A film that leaves a large part of its subject's mystery gratifyingly intact.

Apr 24, 2014 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

The holes in the story are papered over with such beautiful photographs that few viewers could complain.

Apr 24, 2014 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

This is an amazing tale, and Maloof has labored mightily to flesh it out. He's almost as odd as Maier was.

Apr 17, 2014 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Finding Vivian Maier

An absorbing and well edited documentary that unveils the life of this secretive and incredibly talented woman in an attempt to find out who she was, raising in the process inevitable questions about someone's right (or lack thereof) to expose the work of someone who died.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

Two stories in one documentary: one is about a mysterious woman who hid world class photographic talent behind menial jobs as either nanny or maid, and the other addresses what happens when a professional graverobber discovers the goods. One story is interesting for it's humanity, the other is interesting for it's lack.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

Normally it takes a lot for a Documentary to impress me, because I really need to be into the subject matter in order to invest myself in the story. I knew nothing about "Find Vivian Maier" before my viewing of it, and I must say, I was blown away. This film follows a young man who discovers a lost photographic talent in a late Vivian Maier and sets out to find out who she is in order to expose her amazing works to the world. We begin to learn that she was both an incredible and evil woman. This picture is very well put together in ever way. From knowing exactly who to interview, to showing the right amount of material through the editing process, the final outcome of this film is a very in-depth depiction of someone who is no longer alive. It is very rare that a Documentary can pull off a true story as real as this. In the end, there really is not much to complain about here, and it is one of the best Documentaries I have seen. I loved this film!

KJ Proulx
KJ Proulx

Super Reviewer


Collector John Maloof bought an old box at auction that turned out to contain professional-quality artistic photographs taken by a nanny named Vivian Maier; he sets out to convince the art world to exhibit her work, while trying to uncover the mysterious facts of this intensely eccentric and private woman's life. Maloof's passion for his subject is intoxicating, and is ultimately more interesting than the photographs themselves (good as they are).

Greg S
Greg S

Super Reviewer

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