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

Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus Reviews

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July 8, 2016
Very strange film, but somehow I couldn't look away.
½ March 15, 2016
I had no prior knowledge of Diane Arbus's photographic work, and as I understand it, this is an entirely imaginary 'biography' of her artistic rebirth. It probably gave more of a flavour of her unique vision than a conventional 'biopic' would have done. Also, it shows the journey Arbus made from being her husband's assistant, to an avant-garde pioneer. Nicole Kidman and Robert Downey Jr, two of the finest actors in our own time, do the script and direction justice.
½ February 1, 2016
A gloriously beautiful, brave and audaciously original picture with fantastic performances and gorgeous photography. Nicole Kidman and I are getting married.
November 28, 2015
An interesting premise with a not so interesting execution.
June 9, 2015
Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus is a prime example of when a movie trying to be "unique" ends up pretentious. VERY VERY pretentiously made. What starts off promising in Steven Shainberg's tale of the famed photographer turns into two hours of utter, unapproachable boredom. It thinks it's getting weirder and weirder, but in reality it's getting dumber and dumber.

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.)
April 12, 2015
If you have have a low iq you will not enjoy this movie.
February 6, 2015
Directed by Steven Shainberg (Secretary (2002)), this is a biopic with a difference. It isn't. Shainberg used Patricia Bosworth's biography Diane Arbus: A Biography as a template for this film. But they made a fictional story up which focused on how Arbus became renowned for her photography. It's a very peculiar film, but it's one which has to be seen to believed in places. In 1958, Diane Arbus (Nicole Kidman) works as an assistant to her photographer husband Al (Ty Burrell), whose work was funded by David and Gertrude Nemerov (Harris Yulin and Jane Alexander), Diane's parents. Diane wants to do photography of her own, but is struggling to find inspiration. That is until she meets the mysterious neighbour who has recently moved in upstairs. Lionel Sweeney (Robert Downey Jr.), who has a bit of a secret. However, when Diane see's Lionel for what he is, Diane falls in love with him, and his band of misfit friends, and even moves in with in, much to the horror of Al, who wants Diane to be normal. It's a very unusual film, but it has some brilliant performances in it, and you'll see why the film is called Fur, but it lives up to it's subtitle as being an imaginary portrait. What Diane Arbus would have made of it, we'll never know, but there is a tender romance at the heart of this film, and it's well made as well.
January 17, 2015
Buena actuación de Kidman, buena producción, fotografía, una historia fuera de lo común.
December 2, 2014
So the ugly man got a stunningly beautiful woman because of his virtues but the ugly woman had no soul by default. She was moving around like a ghost.
August 11, 2014
Never heard of it before, but looks outstanding.
½ August 10, 2014
such a beautiful and weird film... Robert Downey jr. is amazing and heartbreaking...
½ July 29, 2014
Anything featuring a leading performance from Robert Downey Jr. is worth a viewing in my books.

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.
½ July 11, 2014
This is a very strange film. The acting is good in the movie but the script is weird. The ending is also lackluster. Overall this is an interesting failure.
June 7, 2014
wow ummm just seen this movie 4 the 1st time n think that this is a good movie 2 watch......its got a good cast of actors/actressess throughout this movie.....i think that nicole kidman, robert downey jr, ty burrell (from the brilliant tv series the west wing, the brilliant tv series modern famiy), harris yulin, jane alexander, play good roles/parts throughout this movie......i think that the director of this drama movie ha done a great job of directing this movie because you never know what 2 expect throughout this movie.....its got a good soundtrack throughout this movie.......i think that both robert downey jr/nicole kidman were absolutley brilliant throughout this movie as the 2 lead roles throughout this movie.......its got a good soundtrack throughout this movie.......i think that this is such a really well written/acted/directed movie 2 watch its such a really powerful drama movie 2 watch.......i think that boris mcgiver (from the brilliant tv series the wire), was great throughout this movie......i think that ty burrell was so brilliant throughout this movie......i think that this is such a really sad movie 2 watch......its got a good soundtrack throughout this movie......i think that this is such a really sad movie 2 watch it is such a really powerful drama movie 2 watch its got a great cast throughout this movie its such a brilliant movie 2 watch with a good cast throughout this movie.......it is such a really powerful drama movie 2 watch its got a good cast throughout this movie its such a really powerful drama movie 2 watch with a good cast throughout this movie......
January 29, 2014
I really enjoyed this film, Nicole Kidman is fantastic (as always) and I just got totally caught up in the whole story. A wonderfully amazing, funny and sad film.
½ December 7, 2013
Turning her back on her wealthy, established family, Diane Arbus (Nicole Kidman) falls in love with Lionel Sweeney (Robert Downey Jr), an enigmatic mentor who introduces Arbus to the marginalized people who help her become one of the most revered photographers of the twentieth century.

also stars Ty Burrell, Harris Yulin, Jane Alexander, Emmy Clarke, Genevieve McCarthy, Boris McGiver and Marceline Hugot.

directed by Steven Shainberg.
½ November 5, 2013
very odd yet moving movie :)
October 17, 2013
At first I thought this movie was going to be just weird enough that I loved it... as it turned out, it was just nothing BUT weird. I managed to sit through most of it, but I still couldn't tell you what it was really about. The acting was decent, and the tension was pretty enjoyable, but beyond that I really didn't draw much from it.
366weirdmovies
Super Reviewer
½ September 3, 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).
April 9, 2013
As a huge fan of Diane Arbus and Nicole Kidman, I was SUPER disappointed by this movie. While the idea of a fictionalised biography isn't terrible in itself, this movie is essentially just a tragic Hollywood romance with an "eccentric" twist. And I have no idea what that has to do with who Diane Arbus was or what her work was really about (beyond the superficial at least). Arbus is totally reduced to a bland romantic heroine/ dissatisfied housewife and pins down her whole career as "inspired" by a mysterious stranger. I mean without the Arbus attachment this would be a decent movie, Kidman does do a super job (as usual, she is the queen of all things), but with it? It just seems wrong.
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