Valentino: The Last Emperor (2009)


Critic Consensus: Valentino: the Last Emperor utilizes its access to the fashion icon to the fullest, and the result is a glitzy, dishy, and insightful documentary.


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Movie Info

"Valentino: The Last Emperor" provides a first-time glimpse into Valentino's world of bygone glamour. Filmed from June 2005 to July 2007, the crew shot over 250 hours of footage with exclusive, unprecedented access to Valentino and his entourage. The resulting non-fiction film is a portrait of an extraordinary partnership, the longest running in fashion, and a dramatic story about a master confronting the final act of his celebrated career.

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Critic Reviews for Valentino: The Last Emperor

All Critics (75) | Top Critics (26)

This up-close portrait delivers all the runway glamor and backstage gossip that fashionistas crave, yet it's also unexpectedly poignant.

Jul 30, 2009 | Rating: 3/4

The director only skims over the historical material. In taking for granted that this background is familiar to all, the film drives home the fact that high fashion is made by the few for the few.

Jul 10, 2009

There's only one monarch mentioned in the title of Valentino: The Last Emperor. But Matt Tyrnauer's breezy and entertaining look inside the world of high fashion is very much a two-man show.

Jul 10, 2009 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Superficial but giddily entertaining.

Jul 10, 2009 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

As Valentino's team of seamstresses pore over a sequined white dress, entirely hand-sewn, and finally premiere it to the designer in its flawless, couture glory, it's all you can do not to gasp with pleasure.

Jun 12, 2009 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

Above all, Valentino is a celebration of beauty and love, and the ways in which one begets the other.

May 8, 2009 | Rating: A-

Audience Reviews for Valentino: The Last Emperor


This documentary about fashion designer Valentino Garavani is one of the highest grossing and most buzzed about documentaries of the year, and it?s been longlisted for the Documentary Feature Oscar category. The praise made it sound like something worth checking out, but I?d been pretty hesitant to do so simply because I frankly don?t give a damn about Valentino or about the world of fashion. But I saw this was a available for instant streaming on Netflix and I had a couple hours to kill, what did I have to lose? Not a lot really, this proved to be fairly watchable but it certainly didn?t make me care about or particularly respect its subject any more than I did before. The year in the man?s life which this chronicles proves to not be very dramatic, it?s just sort of a few typical days in the guy?s life and I suppose his fans will find it pretty revealing.


Super Reviewer

Forget September Issue, Valentino: The Last Emperor is the real about the fashion world to watch. Chiefly though Valentino is an engrossing character study of the man himself, his charms, huge ego and his unsurpasable talent.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith

Super Reviewer


An absolutely first-rate documentary that does what only a great documentary can do: present what seems to be one story in such a way that it illuminates so much more. Yes it's about fashion and design, but it's also (or maybe primarily) about the cost of iconic fame and the endurance of a 45-year personal and professional relationship. It's breezy and entertaining and deep and probing. OK, it's just terrific. Enough fancy words. It's terrific.

Jeff Talbott
Jeff Talbott

Super Reviewer

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