Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus (2006)



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

Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus Videos

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.
R (for graphic nudity, some sexuality and language)
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:


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
Emily Bergl
as Alicia
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
Joseph McKenna
as Bald Man
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
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus

All Critics (110) | Top Critics (42)

[The] film illuminates Arbus' artistically brilliant, emotionally unstable life for no longer than the popping of a flash bulb.

Full Review… | March 13, 2007
Time Out
Top Critic

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | December 29, 2006
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Top Critic

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | December 29, 2006
Top Critic

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.

Full Review… | December 29, 2006
Toronto Star
Top Critic

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.

Full Review… | December 29, 2006
Globe and Mail
Top Critic

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.

Full Review… | December 1, 2006
Denver Post
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus


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


"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

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