Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus Reviews
Let me just say this: in the movie Robert Downey Jr. has hypertrichosis..... (you don't know what that disease is? Google it. I dare you.)
I have no idea who Diane Arbus was, but it is clear from Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus that neither does Steven Shainberg because although I was unfamiliar with her before the film, Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus had me walk away from the film less interested in her and asking more questions than he did when he made the film. The issue is that it has no heart to it and is therefore unable to illuminate the titular woman who is considered a groundbreaking photographer. As the title reveals, it is all imaginary and so it really tells you nothing about her life, what inspired her or how she came to be so recognised. What Steven Shainberg was going for really confuses me because it is all a fictional tale without being an entertaining one.
In terms of entertainment value, Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus really has none. It has some positive elements thanks to the fact that the visual style is very nice, but that is about it. Though the costumes that the characters are presented in have an artistic colour to them which match the production design in creating an artistic atmosphere and is then further enhanced by some mood setting cinematography, below the style of the film is nothing but a slow moving story which is boring standalone and worse as a depiction of Diane Arbus. For a film to be artistic and yet have a fictional portrayal of its real life figure, it has to have a story which is engaging and has some relevance to the real world. There is nothing that I saw in Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus which I actually believed whatsoever, and so I struggled to identify precisely what did make Diane Arbus such a notable figure in the arstistic community. While Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus serves as a front for Steven Shainberg's eye for nice imagery, it is weighed down by a terribly boring story, an excess of subtlety and the simple fact that it has nowhere to go and nothing to do. Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus does not tell a story, it simply repeats a lot of imagery at a slow pace from start to finish over extensively long running time without even a single moment where it attempts to take an insightful look into the mind of Diane Arbus. Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus does nothing for its titular figure, and it pays no credit to Steven Shainberg as a filmmaker. Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus is a film I would recommend to nobody, and I look back at it simply as two hours of my life I will never get back.
What I really dislike about Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus is that it is way too subtle. It barely even attempts to get into the mind of Diane Arbus at all, and what it presents of her is a very shallow depiction of her without explaining her motivations or precisely who she was as a person. It really did not look into what constituted her artistic integrity in any way, and so it completely ignores why Diane Arbus is important. What it does present is excessively subtle drama which cannot tell its story at all, and it pretty much has none anyway. There is nothing to take from Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus except for a lot of boredom and a few nice images, so it is not a film that I would suggest anyone watch even if they were the most dedicated fans of the cast members because it is purely solid crap.
Even the cast are unable to salvage the wreckage of the film.
Nicole Kidman barely even looks the part of Diane Arbus which means that it takes little time before audiences question her casting. But how she looks is not the central issue in her performance, because Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus demands nothing of her. It is clear that she is a talented actress and you can see through her physical acting that she is attempting to channel herself into the atmosphere. The main issue is that she does nothing for the character. She expresses no emotions or depth in the part whatsoever and delivers her lines with nothing but an excess of emotional subtlety. Nicole Kidman does not have a good role set up for her and so she has nothing to work with which results in a clearly unimpressive performance. Nicole Kidman is never given a chance to put life into the role of Diane Arbus because she is miscast in the part, but the problem rests more on the way that the film attempts to characterise her than it does on her own efforts to do the same. Nicole Kidman does not do anything to justify her casting as the lead in Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus, and although it really is not her fault, there is not a moment of true charisma in her.
Robert Downey Jr. has his moments because of the way he brings his natural charm to the film and uses some good physical acting to project a sense of stoicism which matches the atmosphere. He doesn't get as much screen time as I had hoped, but his general presence was pretty genial and it was interesting to see him in the part.
Ty Burrell also turns in a decent supporting performance predominantly because of the kind of chemistry he establishes with Nicole Kidman.
So Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus is a terribly slow, thoughtless and mind numbing film which is set up with a dumb concept and gradually deteriorates more and more as the pace slows down, the running time becomes extensive and the actors fail to illuminate the film at all.
also stars Ty Burrell, Harris Yulin, Jane Alexander, Emmy Clarke, Genevieve McCarthy, Boris McGiver and Marceline Hugot.
directed by Steven Shainberg.