Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus Reviews

Top Critic
Geoff Pevere
Toronto Star
December 29, 2006
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 | Original Score: 1.5/4
Top Critic
Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
December 29, 2006
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 | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
December 1, 2006
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.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Robert Denerstein
Denver Rocky Mountain News
December 1, 2006
The world created by Shainberg never seems strange or real enough to convince us that we're getting the goods on anything. Put another way, this imaginary portrait might have done better had it stuck closer to reality.
| Original Score: C
Top Critic
Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
December 1, 2006
[Arbus's] most famous images still have the power to shock, hanging as they do on the walls of the world's museums. Fur, the movie about her, reaches for that same jolt and settles instead for a raised eyebrow.
| Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Eleanor Ringel Gillespie
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
November 30, 2006
Not a single frame of Fur conveys Arbus's distinctive vision ...
| Original Score: F
Top Critic
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
November 21, 2006
Much of the film is absurdist nonsense, and its symbolism is of the plank-to-the-head variety.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Richard Nilsen
Arizona Republic
November 21, 2006
As a biopic, it is as meretricious as most, but as a myth about love and loss, about otherness and identity, about compassion and revulsion, about fetishism and sex, about art and life, it will likely stay with you for days.
| Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Wesley Morris
Boston Globe
November 21, 2006
The movie officially becomes the one thing Arbus's photography refused to be: normal.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Jim Emerson
RogerEbert.com
November 21, 2006
Fur is stuck with offering a reductive and unenlightening view of the real Arbus.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
November 21, 2006
Arbus's life has been put through the fantasy blender.
Full Review | Original Score: C-
Top Critic
Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
November 21, 2006
If the movie is highly unlikely to connect with all who see it, it will connect on a deep level to some who do, in no small part because of Kidman's committed, even daring performance.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Tom Long
Detroit News
November 21, 2006
This fractured beauty-and-the-beast fairytale comes off disturbingly simple-minded.
Full Review | Original Score: C
Top Critic
Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
November 21, 2006
Arbus (whose actual work is unseen, presumably because of rights issues) remains an enigma, and Kidman's wispy portrayal doesn't give the film the center it needs.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Ruthe Stein
San Francisco Chronicle
November 21, 2006
The film takes enormous liberties by embellishing one small aspect of her life to the point of silliness.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
Top Critic
Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
November 16, 2006
Purists will howl at the liberties Shainberg has taken with the facts, but there's a bravery to Fur, an uncompromising commitment to its narrow focus -- of one woman's creative birth -- that rhymes with Arbus's own artistic courage.
Top Critic
Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader
November 16, 2006
Its nerviness only pays off in a few details and in Nicole Kidman's resourcefulness -- mainly a way of suggesting morbid curiosity as erotic stimulation, though the script manages to find diverse excuses for undressing her.
Top Critic
Jessica Reaves
Chicago Tribune
November 16, 2006
A revelatory, challenging and deeply affecting portrait, anchored by what may be Kidman's most profoundly moving performance to date.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
November 13, 2006
I found it to be heavy-handed, pretentious dreck.
Top Critic
Dana Stevens
Slate
November 13, 2006
My irritation progressed through contempt, eye-rolling, and, finally, a dull despair illuminated only by the imminent prospect of dinner.
Top Critic
Manohla Dargis
New York Times
November 10, 2006
Fur is a folly, though not a dishonorable one.
| Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
November 10, 2006
It only does to the artist what museums have tried to do to her art, putting her in a neat little frame and sticking her on the wall, another exhibit in the sideshow. And it still leaves us, safe and separate, stranded on the other side of the glass.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Kyle Smith
New York Post
November 10, 2006
Like the artists who stock the Whitney Biennial with their plastic puddles of vomit, Fur works feverishly to dress up clichés.
| Original Score: 1.5/4
Top Critic
Elizabeth Weitzman
New York Daily News
November 10, 2006
Both in art and in death, Arbus escaped the demeaning constraints of society. By envisioning her as a flawlessly gorgeous mouse with no will of her own, [director] Shainberg and [screenwriter] Wilson have dragged her back.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Claudia Puig
USA Today
November 9, 2006
If you are seeking illumination about Arbus' artistry or her psyche, it's not here.
| Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
November 9, 2006
Fur starts stylishly, and confidently, but the film dwindles down to a chamber piece in a claustrophobic chamber.
Top Critic
Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
November 9, 2006
It remains simultaneously too far-fetched and thesis-driven to be convincing and too feelingly done to be ignored.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Richard Schickel
TIME Magazine
November 9, 2006
If so blatant a fiction is placed in a co-starring role into an account of a real life what can you usefully take away from the movie?
Top Critic
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
November 9, 2006
Fur's misstep, and it is significant, is in the creature design of Lionel. The resemblance to Chewbacca is uncanny. He also looks a little like Lon Chaney's Wolf Man.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Jan Stuart
Newsday
November 9, 2006
Freighted with a risible air of pretension and gloom.
| Original Score: 1.5/4
Top Critic
Scott Tobias
AV Club
November 9, 2006
Fur is that rare movie that's too understated, so quiet and deliberate that it effectively buries consuming passions.
| Original Score: B-
Top Critic
Scott Foundas
L.A. Weekly
November 9, 2006
Downey, however, is remarkable, suppressing his trademark jitters and ticks and delivering a performance of heartbreaking sensitivity, no matter that he spends almost all of his screen time staring out from behind a forest of head-to-toe body hair.
Top Critic
David Germain
Associated Press
November 8, 2006
Is it more interesting and entertaining than a straightforward biopic of Arbus would have been? Maybe. Is it more illuminating? Probably not.
Top Critic
Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
November 8, 2006
It's been a while since we saw a truly boggling sophomore slump, one of those infamous second-act follies, like Steven Soderbergh's Kafka, made by adirector blinded with ego and overreach.
Full Review | Original Score: D-
Top Critic
Andrew Sarris
New York Observer
November 8, 2006
Fur may not be entirely convincing, but it's made with a conviction that deserves respect.
Top Critic
Rex Reed
New York Observer
November 8, 2006
The paperback edition of Patricia Bosworth's mesmerizing book is being published again this week. My advice is forget about the movie and grab this literary gem fast. You will really learn something. You will learn nothing from Fur.
Top Critic
J. Hoberman
Village Voice
November 7, 2006
You won't learn much about Arbus, aside from the correct pronunciation of her first name; you will get to see Kidman try (and fail) to find her inner freak.
Top Critic
David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
November 6, 2006
You'd expect a conventional biopic to be bland and overly telescoped. But Arbus's life and work ought to inspire something more than the generic tale of a repressed fifties doll wife who runs off with the circus.
Top Critic
David Denby
New Yorker
November 6, 2006
The filmmakers behind Fur sentimentalize Arbus, bringing her back into the comfort zone of a woman who is more sensitive than other people to the trials of the unfortunate -- exactly the kind of soft fifties liberalism that she knocked to pieces.
Top Critic
Todd McCarthy
Variety
November 2, 2006
Impressively crafted and acted but far too narrowly and benignly conceived to satisfy even on its own terms.
Top Critic
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
November 2, 2006
The movie feels like it's still in the darkroom.
| Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
October 11, 2006
An affected fantasia that unsuccessfully tries to conjure Diane Arbus out of a strident urban fairy tale.