The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part
The Walking Dead
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All Critics (16)
| Top Critics (5)
| Fresh (6)
| Rotten (10)
This zoetrope-esque blurring ultimately lends Mapplethorpe its edge, as audiences will feel unable to tear themselves away from its protagonist's lavish self-destruction.
Smith's performance hints at tightly coiled depths that the movie skates by, and his character becomes easier to resent even when he begins to get sick.
The major thing that Mapplethorpe has in its favor is that the film is afraid of neither the life nor the work of the notorious photographer.
[Smith's] work, sadly, is continuously undermined by everything surrounding him, beginning with a script, written by Timoner and Mikko Alanne, that frustratingly sticks to the then-this-happened conventions of a standard biopic.
To her credit, Timoner doesn't shy away from the hardcore bits...but neither does she capture what made the radical photographer tick.
It's gorgeously shot in a grainy style that seamlessly mixes with period footage.
This is an honest film above all else. It doesn't excuse Mapplethorpe's transgressions, but it manages to celebrate his work in spite of them.
Deeply by the book, the photographer is treated as though he was any other 20th-century figure. What a disservice.
Mapplethorpe is as much a contradiction as the man himself, a film that wants to investigate both art and artist, and yet can't quite come to terms with either.
It takes some effort to turn the story of New York City's notorious bad boy of photography into something of a yawn, but this biopic pretty much manages.
Mapplethorpe continues to hit the expected beats of the photographer's life, having about as much depth as a Wikipedia entry.
Mapplethorpe's story is one that works best as a documentary.
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