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Love, Cecil shines a warm - and long overdue - spotlight on the work of an Oscar-winning talent whose contributions to classic cinema are too often overlooked.
All Critics (41)
| Top Critics (10)
| Fresh (33)
| Rotten (8)
| DVD (1)
The film version of My Fair Lady is a ceremonious bore, and the viewer has Cecil Beaton's pompously sedentary, open-casket visual compositions to blame.
Thorough and pleasurable - if lightweight...
38 years after his death, Beaton's name is not so much on everyone's lips, and one of the pleasures of this film is to revisit his gifts beyond his best known work, the Oscar-winning production design and costumes for "My Fair Lady."
An unavoidable shortcoming of the documentary is the absence of Beaton's peers. Somewhat making up for that is an even more dazzling lineup of period film clips and vintage photographs.
"Love, Cecil" demonstrates how a documentary can be a magical experience.
Beaton's more-is-more approach makes for a feast for the eyes.
Vreeland makes a concerted effort to probe beyond the Cecil Beaton the world knows.
Even with incredible access to his output, his personal diaries and his remaining friends, Vreeland is perhaps too respectful of her subject's secrets.
Juicy gossip aside, Vreeland's documentary introduces us to the work of a man who wrote, took pictures, designed and drew -- and did all of these with skill and a well-honed aesthetic.
Love, Cecil isn't necessarily breaking new ground on the man, but director Lisa Immordino Vreeland's documentary is a complete, nuanced, entertaining portrait of an artist who, if alive today, would have an incredible Instagram.
The director doesn't set out to reinvent the wheel, but what her film lacks in inventiveness and creativity, it compensates in a willingness to explore the Renaissance man at its core with clarity and compassion.
Love, Cecil uses Beaton's diaries as a primary source, and doesn't necessarily shy away from his darker side... For all his flaws, Cecil still offered a lot to love.
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