The Woodmans - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Woodmans Reviews

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½ August 17, 2015
A dull, overlong, and ultimately dissatisfying documentary completely ill-fitting for its remarkable subject matter: a true visionary artist.
December 10, 2014
Fascinating and disturbing. These are not necessarily people one will relate to, as they freely admit. But they are people who will at least interest you. And the art is wonderful.
September 20, 2014
A documentary that every lover of photography should see. The Woodmans, a family of American artists, were marked by the suicide of Francesca Woodman, the young daughter, in the early 1980s. The film reveals the genius of Francesca's work, a photographer ahead to her time that was at the same time her own model and subject. The film is also a character study. It tries to reveal Francesca's fragile and vulnerable personality, but also to analyse what makes her photographs so mysterious, enigmatic, surreal, fantastic, and if they help us to discover what lay inside her mind and soul.
April 11, 2014
emotive tale of the life and death of an immensely passionate soul through the eyes of her family and art
December 21, 2013
I saw a short excerpt of the documentary on PBS recently, by chance, and was deeply affected by the disturbing art of Francesca Woodman. It is so disturbing I am still for three weeks now affected by it. I had a few nightmares too. I don't know how can her images and self-portraits be so haunting, but its kinda ruining my Christmas season. I wish I'd never seen this documentary about her or Woodmans. Very unhealthy stuff!!!! I hope I get over the impressions and messages in her work soon!!! Don't even wanna comment her parents. The film is done well. I just wish I'd never seen it. I don't watch horror movies on purpose, and this caught me by surprise, it is scarier to me than any horror movie I've ever seen. I don't know why her imagery affects me so, but it does. :(
Harlequin68
Super Reviewer
½ November 17, 2013
There are two ways this documentary could have functioned well enough to actually be intriguing:

A) Make it solely about Betty and George Woodman, husband and wife octogenarian artists, while briefly mentioning the suicide of their daughter Francesca, also an artist, as a past tragedy. Granted this version has less nudity but still...

B) Make it solely about Francesca while getting brief testimony from her parents.

Because combining them into two movies does not work. On the one hand, Francesca's ghost continues to overwhelm any work her parents continue to do in the present day. That is while the documentary manages to gleam some insights when talking to Francesca's friends and acquaintances but hits a brick wall when talking to her parents since all parents usually know less about their child when she becomes an adult and leaves home which is especially true in this case. And that's not to mention the film being that much less interesting when the focus is on Betty and George, to be honest.
August 18, 2013
Although the documentary is titled "the Woodmans", in its essence, it's about Francesca Woodman, a gifted photographer who died tragically in a suiice at the age of 22 without receiving the recognition for her work. Apart from showing the fascinating work of Francesca, black and white photography that is truly gripping and of quality beyond her time, the film tells a story of a talented, ambitious and determined artist, who breaks .ion light of continuous unsuccessful attempts to establish herself in the competiitive NY arts scenes. Also, the film hints at competition within the film, most prominently when looking at her parents who seem divided between just being the famous artist's family and proving themselves through their own artistic capabilities.
March 29, 2013
Extremely thought provoking, though I did ge a strong sense that the director wanted me to perceive of Francesca's parents in a certain way. Definitely worth watching and talking about!
February 11, 2013
Two untalented, actually terrible artist-art professor parents and one genius artistic daughter who commits suicide because as the untalented father puts it, "didn't get an NEA Grant". Seriously, he said it as if depression, the illness, had nothing to do with it.Then after the daughter posthumously becomes famous, the father stops "playing in the paint," and takes-up photography to copy his dead daughters style. Then the mother rides her coattails too bitching about it along the way as to why she and her husband are not as recognized as their dead daughter.Never do they ask themselves are they any good.I saw this in several ways as being one big infomercial for these two poor confused untalented parents. I got so mad at one point I had to turn it off. It was a good doc though. Grieving parents doing their art to heal? I don't know. The art of Katte Kollowitz, now that's a grieving parent-art. I think this doc shows how screwed up art jealousy can be in some cases, especially within family.Maybe I'm the only one that saw through this, but it really pissed me off-these two parents could't paint the side of a barn and the fathers photography was pretentious dribble, but because of this video we all know who they are now. Too bad Francesca couldn't have stuck around, she was the artist.
½ December 9, 2012
Francesca Woodman era una persona misteriosa y enigmática, por lo cual no estaba esperando entenderla a ella ni a su obra con este documental, pero irme al menos con una mejor idea de quién era y en que se inspiraba. Siento que no lo logré, pero creo que la única que podría explicarlo era ella misma. Este es un documental acerca de la familia Woodman, todos artistas, y se les entrevista a cada uno de ellos. Es interesante ver la dinámica familiar y cómo los afectó la tragedia, pero en ciertos momentos sentí que el cineasta estaba tratando de buscar un culpable o una explicación a lo que pasó, y es injusto. Esas cosas pasan y ni hay nada que pudiera haberlo prevenido o hacer algo al respecto, y hacer ver a sus padres como personas frías y enfocadas mas en su arte que en sus hijos, no tiene sentido. Estaba esperando algo más de Francesca, pero el único mensaje que me dejó es que se fue, y su obra será admirada por muchas más generaciones porque es extraordinario, y espero que las personas se fijen más en su talento y en su visión adelantada a su tiempo, antes que en la tragedia y traten de buscar el reflejo de su salud mental en sus fotografías.
November 10, 2012
The Woodmans provides the most insightful context to Francesca Woodman as a person and artist. Artist and their work are usually explained in the context of cultural and artistic movements and less about the artist themselves and The Woodmans makes the argument for importance of understanding the artist.
August 16, 2012
An interesting perspective on a family of artists.
August 8, 2012
I had never heard of Francesca Woodman but watched this because of my interest in the "artistic temperament." The filmmakers clearly regard her as a genius and I too found her work beautiful and provocative. What was fascinating about the film was the painful honesty of her family who share ambivalent feelings about her life and posthumous success.
July 14, 2012
Francesca's photographs are amazing!
½ July 4, 2012
These people are sooo annoying. Some cool photographs.
½ July 2, 2012
Both a study of Francesca Woodman as an artist, her life, death, and art family both before and after the tragedy. Haunting and heartbreaking, it was both hard to take and impossible to look away, much like her photographs themselves.
June 28, 2012
Great example of the all to common unfortunate metaphor in how an original & great artists' suicide death can catapult their work into abundant riches and mass publicity.
½ April 11, 2012
Personally i found the most interesting minutes of the film were about basic, relatable human emotions of Francesca's parents. i found this film to be well-made, insightful and interesting. but just a bit too slow.
December 26, 2011
Sadly inspirational.
½ December 22, 2011
Beautiful and haunting.
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