Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus

2006

Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus

Critics Consensus

This portrait of a groundbreaking photographer lacks the daring of its subject.

32%

TOMATOMETER

Reviews Counted: 110

63%
liked it

Audience Score

User Ratings: 19,291

TOMATOMETER

N/A
All Critics | Top Critics
Average Rating: N/A
Reviews Count: 0
Fresh: 0
Rotten: 0

AUDIENCE SCORE

63%
Average Rating: 3.4/5

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Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus Photos

Movie Info

Photographer Diane Arbus was considered one of the most mysterious, enigmatic and frighteningly bold artists of the 20th century. Most known for her obsession with "freak" subject matter, her haunting work emerged from a deeply private place. Arbus' death was as mysteriously tragic as was the aura surrounding some of her most piercing portraits.

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Cast

Nicole Kidman
as Diane Arbus
Robert Downey Jr.
as Lionel Sweeney
Ty Burrell
as Allan Arbus
Harris Yulin
as David Nemerov
Jane Alexander
as Gertrude Nemerov
Emmy Clarke
as Grace Arbus
Genevieve McCarthy
as Sophie Arbus
Boris McGiver
as Jack Henry
Marceline Hugot
as Tippa Henry
Mary Duffy
as Althea
Lynn Marie Stetson
as Fiona (naked girl)
Gwendolyn Bucci
as Dominatrix
David J. Steinberg
as Singing Little Person
Matt Servitto
as Handsome Client
David Green
as Another Client
Sandriel Frank
as Fox Model
Krista Coyle
as Fashion Model
John C. Gallagher
as Carnival Talker
Maureen Shannon
as Rose the Maid
David Spence Perkins
as Man with Dominatrix
George McGrath
as Transvestite
David Joseph Steinberg
as Singing Little Person
Jess Osuna
as Elevator Man
Laura Andrew
as Siamese Twin
Leesa Andrew
as Siamese Twin
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Critic Reviews for Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus

All Critics (110) | Top Critics (44)

  • An interestingly designed but inescapably pointless film.

    Mar 16, 2007 | Full Review…
  • Kidman delivers another standout performance, transparent and magnetic. Burrell is no match for Downey's hypnotic beast. The hairy romantic chemistry with Kidman is electric, the context inspired.

    Mar 16, 2007 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • Certainly the film isn't without its flaws. Then again, perfection is in the eye of beholder.

    Mar 16, 2007 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • Stilted, stylized and art-directed within an inch of its life, Shainberg's movie (which was written by his Secretary collaborator, Erin Cressida Wilson) manages to be both oppressively literal and fatefully fuzzy at the same time.

    Dec 29, 2006 | Rating: 1.5/4 | Full Review…
  • Don't be fooled for a second by that subtitle. Fur bills itself as An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus, but this thing's got all the imagination of a career bureaucrat slumped in his cubicle awaiting a pension.

    Dec 29, 2006 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
  • Shainberg neither sugarcoats [Diane Arbus's] distance from her girls nor judges it. The filmmakers understand Arbus's story within the context of her time and upbringing.

    Dec 1, 2006 | Rating: 3/4

Audience Reviews for Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus

½

Diane Arbus (Nicole Kidman) is an artistically repressed housewife whose creativity is awakened when a circus freak (Robert Downey Jr.) moves upstairs. An interesting imaginary premise, but the movie gets trapped in unconvincing and disappointingly conventional romance, ending with a superficial, uninspiring message (sometimes abandoning your children is just the price you pay for great photography).

Greg S
Greg S

Super Reviewer

"Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus" could easily be a modern "Beauty and the Beast" directed by Tim Burton. I have to say that the beast is not that bad; he actually looks like a cute dog, maybe a Cocker Spaniel. But the fact is that, in this case, David Lynch could fit better with the Arbus's work. Don't get me wrong, the movie is directed by Steven Shainberg, the same director of "Secretary". Not having seen Secretary yet, my interest was totally in Diane Arbus. Even knowing it was "an imaginary portrait", I expected something more biographical and maybe more faithful to the image I have of Arbus. Her photos can lead us to such a portrait, but knowing a bit about her we know she was not "one of us"*, but was more to a nice intruder. (Susan Sontag talks about it in "On Photograph"). Also, Nicole Kidman's Diane, and this is not her fault, could be both a model of Allan's ads or Arbus's strange photos, not mentioning that she seems a contemporay version of her previous Viginia Woolf. The film is not bad but it ends up resuming Diane Arbus into a fetishist herself and tries to explain her work by her supposed inner freak. But don't take me that seriously. "Fur" can be a good watch, specially if you like fantasy genre. *Freaks, directed by Tod Browning.

Rubia  Carolina
Rubia Carolina

Super Reviewer

½

"You see someone on the street, and essentially what you notice about them is the flaw." -Diane Arbus A provocative tribute to misunderstood genius, Fur is one part biography and two parts fairy tale. Ominous yet oddly endearing.

Randy Tippy
Randy Tippy

Super Reviewer

The title cards before the film warn that this is not an historical biography, but I don't think that disclaimer releases the filmmakers from somehow connecting the main plot points to Arbus's art or artistic mission. What specifically attracts Arbus to the "freaks" she photographs? And what is the connection between these subjects and her trip to the nudist colony, which frames the film? Additionally, the film offers a half-hearted criticism of how women were treated in the fifties, and of course, the criticism is warranted. But the "patriarchal" husband is certainly more supportive than William H. Macy's character in Pleasantville ("Where's my dinner?"). I might have missed something (because the DVD skipped in the middle of the film), but from the best that I could tell, Allan Arbus was not terribly oppressive. So, at the film's conclusion, Kidman's character doesn't earn our sympathy, and the tribute to her estranged husband at the end falls flat. Overall, the performances were good. Perhaps it's my ignorance of Arbus's work, but the film does nothing to connect a very basic story to an "extraordinary" artist.

Jim Hunter
Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer

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