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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Critic Reviews for Valentino: The Last Emperor
This up-close portrait delivers all the runway glamor and backstage gossip that fashionistas crave, yet it's also unexpectedly poignant.
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.
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.
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.
Above all, Valentino is a celebration of beauty and love, and the ways in which one begets the other.
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.
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.
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.
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