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

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Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus Photos

Movie Info

In 1958 New York Diane Arbus (Nicole Kidman) is a housewife and mother who works as an assistant to her husband (Ty Burrell), a photographer employed by her wealthy parents. Respectable though her life is, she cannot help but feel uncomfortable in her privileged world. One night, a new neighbor (Robert Downey Jr.) catches Diane's eye, and the enigmatic man inspires her to set forth on the path to discovering her own artistry.

Cast & Crew

Nicole Kidman
Diane Arbus
Robert Downey Jr.
Lionel Sweeney
Ty Burrell
Allan Arbus
Harris Yulin
David Nemerov
Jane Alexander
Gertrude Nemerov
Emmy Clarke
Grace Arbus
Bill Pope
Cinematographer
Amy Danger
Production Design
Nick Ralbovsky
Art Direction
Carrie Stewart
Set Decoration
Mark Bridges
Costume Designer
Kerin Ferallo
Costume Designer
Show all Cast & Crew

Critic Reviews for Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus

All Critics (111) | Top Critics (46) | Fresh (36) | Rotten (75)

  • An interestingly designed but inescapably pointless film.

    March 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.

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

    March 16, 2007 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • Far-out touches and liberal application of metaphor are compensated for by intensity and two mesmerising performances.

    March 13, 2007 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • During their first meeting, the cryptic dialogue between Arbus and Lionel is intended to sound provocative and surreal, but the result is confusing and creepy.

    December 30, 2006 | Rating: 1.5/5 | 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.

    December 29, 2006 | Rating: 1.5/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus

  • Sep 02, 2013
    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 Super Reviewer
  • Aug 26, 2010
    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 H Super Reviewer
  • Mar 03, 2010
    Just didn't get the point. I thought this film was going to be about her work and life, but the film takes place before she even got started.
    Marion R Super Reviewer
  • Dec 15, 2009
    Brilliant Movie that makes you think after watching it.
    Wahida K Super Reviewer

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